Tuesday, December 11

Jonny G reviews The Dream's "Love Hate" album

I first took notice of The Dream on Nivea's 2005 album 'Complicated' with his remix of Okay being the stand out track and it's almost criminal that it wasn't a club banger!! 2 years on and he's had 2 number one smashes with writing and production credits on Rhianna's 'Umbrella' and J.Holiday's 'Bed' and right at the end of 2007 his album 'Love Hate' has seemingly come out of nowhere!

The album is 11 tracks long, and while that sounds like a short album, remember Usher's classic 'My Way' album was only 9 tracks and 1 remix!

Most people will straight away recognise The Dream for his anthem 'Shawty is a 10' which is so damn catchy!! If you listen to G Child's show on 1xtra you'll also be humming away to Falsetto, so how does the rest of the album match up to these killer tracks? Quite well actually!

On the whole the album is a very mid tempo, southern drum/snap influenced kind of R&B, which is very club and radio friendly! It's the kinda of album you can nod your head to in the whip, as you're crusin down the motorway and rarely have to hit the 'next track' button. Its got the same kind of appeal as Lloyd's Street love album, so if you liked Street Love I think you'll enjoy this. (note that Street Love is my stand out album of the year)

The album does have its highs and lows though, but there are far more highs than lows. 'Nikki' is my least favourite track from the album, it's still got its catchy parts but on the whole it felt a bit out of place and like there was too much going on at once. 'Nikki' leads into 'She needs my love' which sounds like a fusion of Tim & Bob and Timbaland - its seriously catchy! His style of repeating lines then adding a vocal effect can be seen best on 'Playin in her hair' with classic dream 'eh - eh - eh -eh's' thrown in for effect...I seem to be repeating the word catchy a lot but thats the only way to describe it, although I can understand why some people might find it annoying. 'Purple kisses' sounds very much like 'Bed' but its quite a solid slow jam. 'Ditch that' has quite a funk feel but I didn't understand the need to throw in the 'ella' every now and again, still a head nodder and again sounds very Timbaland, the funk guitar is a great rift though and I could see it doing well in a club set. Love songs is very cool and a slow head nodder. The album finishes with a track called 'Livin a lie' featuring Rhianna which I can see doing well as a single. I'm not really into the track but with Rhianna on the track you can understand how it would shift units.

My biggest gripe with the album though is the way 'Falsetto' is blended into the track before and track after for no real reason. 112 did it on their first album but they blended 'Only you' into an interlude for effect, the only reason I can see for it on this album is to make people buy the single to get a clean version. Very crafty if you ask me! Also you might find the constant repetitions of Eh Eh Eh or Ella Ella Ella annoying - its like marmite I guess, you either love it or hate it.

Is it a classic? Not quite. Is it better that Lloyd's Street Love? No not really. What it is though is a very solid catchy albums with possible single choices throughout. We know 'Shawty is a 10' and 'Falsetto' are sure fire singles but any number of the tracks could be the next hit. On a scale of 1 - 10 I'd give it a solid 8! If you can find it for under a tenner and enjoyed Street Love or found yourself noddin your head to 'Shawty is a 10' or 'Falsetto' pick yourself up a copy!

Eh Eh Eh Eh!!!!

By Jonny G

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