On ‘1977,’ A Darker Dream



“I hate to have to crash your wedding… with this shit,” The-Dream sings on “Wedding Crasher,” one of the 11 new songs from his first-ever free album (for all intents and purposes, it’s a mixtape—but don’t tell him that), released under his “government name,” Terius Nash, which dropped today via his official site. His label’s not happy, since although 1977 was recorded under a different name, it’s still chock full of signature Dream touches: not the sort of epic love-gushing Prince suite or sparse snap-and-bop he’s honed over the span of three solo LP’s, but rather, accounts of love lost, bottled into more of the catastrophically lush productions we’ve come to expect from him and partner-in-tune, Christopher “Tricky” Stewart.

Though it’s as dark as The-Dream’s ever sounded—granted, he’s now a single man and just recently re-upped his Twitter account, which he shut down after ranting hard on heartbreak and label politics—there are still signature pockets of fun hooks (“Ghetto”), flash, and flamboyance (“Rolex”) thrown in for good measure. 1977, titled after the year he was born, listens like thoughts running through an artist’s head. Less space-pop confection and more somber shrink visit than the rushed LoveKing before it, Terius Nash’s wiggling tenor sounds more liquored-up and angry than ever. Just listen to “Used to Be” and you’ll hear how his life’s changed—at one point, he even jokes about ending it. It will be interesting to hear if this type of personal storm sticks for a man whose pop catalogue is so filled-to-the-brim with glittering hits, he could use a bad day once in awhile. His next Def Jam release, entitled Love IV: Diary of a Mad Man, sure sounds like it could be.