Written by: Langston John Blaze
Mega hitmaker, The Dream, scores a top notch new album entitled, IV Play. The singer/producer, who has created such hit songs as Rihanna’s raunchy, Birthday Cake, Beyonce’s anthem, Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It), and Ciara’s salacious Ride, gives his take on risqué lovemaking ballots and club bangers. The album makes R. Kelly’s 12 Play look like child’s play (no pun intended). It takes the concept of baby making songs to the next level. With its catchy fun lyrical content with an undertone of sensuality, one can’t help but be consumed with its ratchet bad boy flavor. The sexual bump and grind beats are reminiscent of signature songs created by groups like Silk and Jodeci.
Songs like High Art featuring Hip Hop king Jay-Z, the summer club anthem Turnt featuring King B aka Beyonce and Hip Hop heavy-hitter, 2 Chainz, deliver big party beats and hard-to-get-out-of-your-head-lyrics like, “In the back of that limousine, Billy Bob and Angeline,” sung by Beyonce, in the single, Turnt. At one point, Knowles even sings the line, “Beat it up til I black out.” Listeners can not help but notice the shot firing sexual themes of the album which do not hold back. The classily dirty P*ssy featuring Big Sean and Pusha T does not make virginal innocence but pops every cherry in the room with its sexily risqué metaphors.
However, with songs like Equestrian, the vulnerably explicit Where Have You Been featuring R&B reigning queen, Kelly Rowland, and the title song, IV Play, listeners get a break from catchy ratchet-ness and receive a classic memorable rhythm and blues sound. I give IV Play 4 out of 5 BLAZE STARS (hence the IV in the album’s title). Although great, the album does lose its personality toward the end with weak, could-have-left-off-the-track-list records like the corny tribute to Michael Jackson song titled, Michael, as well as New Orleans and Holy Love. Yet, overall The Dream is nothing close to a nightmare. As a matter of fact, the only screaming you might hear is the album playing amongst headboard banging sessions!