The-Dream - IV Play

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Notwithstanding a couple musical blemishes, "IV Play" diligently continues The-Dream's tenure as one of the premier acts in R&B.

While Terius Nash has gained more acclaim through his work for other Pop starlets, his track record as The-Dream has had its share of successes in another manner. A descendent of R. Kelly’s unabashed musings matched with the slick undertones of Prince, Dream encapsulates a lascivious style that has been present since Love Hate, and even more so now with his latest offering IV Play. The perverted title tells only half the story, as the other half stays in between the sheets.

The-Dream rarely minces words when articulating his desires, with the playfully triumphant “Michael” personifying his thirst for a quick romp in the bed, singing, “I want to hold that / He want to control that / I just want to console that / Over the weekend.” Equally impressive is the title-track, which situates itself as a picturesque breakdown behind his intent. As the sensual melody lays the groundwork for late-night theatrics, Dream utilizes his full vocal register for a performance that will undoubtedly find the repeat button. His charismatic allure on “Equestrian” yields a new meaning to the word, and calling The-Dream a savant on the subject of sex wouldn’t be much of a stretch considering his demeanor on these records.

In that respect, seeing him break tradition by cluttering his fleshly message with an extended guest list is a decision that suggests an adjustment for optimizing his blog presence rather than a casting call for quality. The pedestrian verses bookended by Big Sean and Pusha T mixed in with uncouth verbiage becomes negligent (“I got my left hand on that booty / Got my right hand on that pussy...”), while “Turnt” doesn’t fare much better as Dream’s modulated vocals take a backseat to Beyonce’s opening salvo. With its simplistic bounce and a supply of weed and women to match Jay-Z’s nonchalant rhymes, even “High Art” fails to satisfy beyond its initial audible ingression. To his credit, none of these features come unexpected, as he’s collaborated with each artist to varying degrees of success, but they ultimately become a musical detraction.

One instance in which The-Dream does sound sharpened by his collaborator is “Where Have You Been,” with Kelly Rowland fittingly playing his co-conspirator in finding love after the fact. Pledging his heart with a cry for reciprocity, he sings, “Found it inevitable / That I would never find love / Now that I found true love / I'm never giving it up.” Not every cut is heavy with explicit talk, either, as “Self-Conscious” warmly details Dream’s commitment (“Girl forget about the world whenever you’re with me / If you swear to never front, I swear I'll never leave”). The sincerity is genuine, though the Auto-tune could have been discarded.

Notwithstanding a couple musical blemishes, IV Play diligently continues The-Dream’s tenure as one of the premier acts in R&B. A crop of new-age crooners have recently grabbed a substantial share of the genre’s spotlight. However, until they prove themselves to be permanent fixtures, The-Dream should have little trouble preserving his position as the “Love King.”


  • Passy

    This album is straight fire, quality music i give it a 5/5

  • Mack

    was disappointed with this album seemed like he just wanted to get his 4th album done so he can rack up

  • sumguy

    Weak 3/5 (Closer to a 2/5 than a 4/5) this project didn't connect with me musically. Usually there's always that one song that I feel makes the album better. It's just not here on this album.

  • Anonymous

    listen if you want to hear a less talented/creative version of The Weeknd

  • nope.

    mediocrity this time.

  • jg

    Album is a banger and a panty dropper the whole way through. IVPlay, Michael, Where Have You Been and High Art are all hot tracks. If you appreciate RnB in it's purest form you'll love this album.

  • da commanda

    The Dream has ALWAYS sucked...and how about an original title for the album? Get off R. Kelly's nuts!!!

  • Christopher Sheppard

    Horrible album, he's lost it completely.Its a complete failure. He should stick with producing record for others.... All his other albums are good, this one seems rushed.

  • The American Nigga

    The album is good but not his best. He's still got it man 4/5 for me

  • Anonymous

    so glad i didnt buy this saved myself 13euro

  • Staublunge

    The Album is exactely what I expected - BULLSHIT!

  • John Blaze

    You Can Always Count On Dream For A Dope Album.....5/5 Only Wack Song Is "Tron" And Thats Just A Bonus Joint....

  • Jason Bourne

    Let me start by saying I am a major Dream fan; however, this album was so disappointing that I no longer know where The- Dream is musically. I really want to forget about this album. The most Ironic thing about this album is that The-Dream titles it IV Play, but he could give a fuck about the foreplay. In the entire album he actual never really deals with having foreplay because he is too in a rush to get straight to it. This album contains way too much auto-tune. The-Dream does auto tune in all of his albums, but this was an overdose. The-Dreams songs sound stronger without auto-tune; simply, because it is the intensive beat production coupled with his melodic use of harmonized layered vocals that propels his music to perfection. I actually do not care for auto-tune, but The- Dream insists on having it in his music, so I accept it. I have heard such tracks as Sex Intelligent and Right Side of My Brain without auto-tune, and they sound better. Furthermore, IV Play has too many guest appearances, and I am used to The-dream having only one or two features on an album, which is what I prefer. Aside from Kelly Rowland on Where Have you been, The-Dream could have saved all the other features. Stand out tracks include: Michael, Where Have You Been, IV Play, Slow It down, and Holy Love. Michael, an ode to Michael Jackson, has very little to do with Michael Jackson, and more about how much more The-Dream would like to fuck (and not make love) to a girl rather than some other guy. Michael is very reminiscing of Veteran from the Love King Deluxe addition, but better. It is better mostly because of his hook on the song, which starts she got me singing like. On the song Where Have You Been, The-Dream teams up with Kelly Rowland to deliver a rather good song. However, Kellys half of the song overshadows the Dreams, which makes Kelly standout on the song. It actually should be one of Kellys songs featuring The-Dream, as by the end he seems to fade into the background vocals of the song. In IV Play The-Dream chants I can give a fuck about the foreplay I want it now, forsaking the title of the album. The song is very good, but the breakdown of the song, as with many of The-Dreams songs, is better. The breakdown of IV Play makes one wonder what new idea will sprout from the breakdown. Hopefully, whatever it is brings a hit like the breakdown of Ghetto from 1977 did when it gave birth to Beyonces Dance for you. Slow It Down has become The-Dreams self- proclaimed statement asking DJs and radio stations to slow down the music. Holy Love takes a more dark approach and starts off much like his productions on Love Without Tragedy for Rihanna. It seems as if The-Dream metaphorically substitutes his song writing and producing career for a woman deeming her the Holy Love. More importantly, I am highly disappointed that Body Work/ Fuck My Brains Out, Roc, and Dope Bitch did not even make it to the deluxe addition of IV Play, as each one of these songs were damn near better than all of the songs on the album. With the exception of Dope Bitch( which can be argued for), the songs fit in perfectly with the theme of the album. Roc is actually about foreplay, because in the song The-Dream alludes to having sex that he has not had. It really complements the idea of foreplay. Body Work/ Fuck My Brains Out actually works to melodically tell a story about a girl who The- Dream hopes is right for him and his ex who thought she was a super freak. Not to mention, storytelling and conceptualization are two of the elements IV Play as an album is missing. Personally, I think Body Work/ Fuck My Brains Out sounds better when it is sped up. When sped up, the production on Body Work plays a thumping beat with piano rifts that complement, and Fuck My Brains Out strums an up-tempo Rick James/ Prince sounding guitar and drum tune. Dope Bitch, while blunt, is really just a great song that is album worthy. Dreams most powerful album by far was the Love King Deluxe addition. The additional songs make the album overpower his other albums (that are just as spectacular in their own right). His most conceptual and deepest album was Love vs. Money, and Love/Hate was a great introductory album. While IV Play has some good songs, this is the first album of The-Dreams I can honestly say I would give a bad rating.

  • chance

    its the dream, if you love music then this is it!!

  • rudy bienaime

    Its pretty damn good.... I disagree with this review as high art is great and is a perfect example of what both (jay-z & the dream does well). Where I believe IV PLAY falls short but not by far is with songs like "too early". With very good beats and great features from BEYONCE, JAY-Z, 2Chainz & FABOLOUS the dream has crafted a new classic

  • Anonymous

    Great album as usual from The-Dream.

  • not me.

    Never been a fan. Miguel the only new-era cat that makes music I can dig, besides BJ The Chicago Kid.

    • Tiy

      Miguel is getting wack is fuck! He's trying way too hard to be different. People that are different don't try to be different they just are. With that being said, Dream could have held out on that auto tone shit, but he has some great music on the album. Miguel is no where near the level that dream is on period! Phsycho, Equestrian, Pussy, New Orleans, and the second track are Dream at his best. Light years ahead of Miguel corney ass!

    • jermaine

      Then why you click on the review? just asking.