Album Review: The Dream - Love vs. Money

Posted by Mack of Sound-Savvy On 12:00 AM

He took my shawty, he took my girl. He took the any and everything out my world. He took my heart from me, he took my soul. I should have known money couldn’t match love…”

Artist: The Dream
Album: Love vs. Money
Release Date: 3.10.09

After building his career as a writer for today’s biggest hit makers, The Dream seeks to etch his name among them with the offering of his second studio album, Love vs. Money. This album revisits many of the concepts from the previous album such as love, sex, and heartache but with a different, more sincere perspective. Much like its predecessor, this album tells a story, therefore his technique of flowing one song into the next is appropriately engaged once again. With his longtime collaborator Tricky Stewart in tow on most of the tracks, this project (with minimal growth time needed) should do well to dispel most notions of a sophomore jinx.

Singles from Love vs. Money include the club-ready Rockin’ That Thang and My Love featuring the soaring soprano of Mariah Carey. The projected third single is Walkin’ On The Moon featuring Kanye West, a not-so-typical love song noted for it’s flashback-gone-futuristic beat and concept. R. Kelly’s influence is felt on Sweat It Out, which utilizes Kellz’s signature talk-sing style while the Pied Piper is more directly referenced on Kelly's 12-Play, a tribute to one of the most infamous baby-making albums of all time. Sporting a kickin’ bass line, an infectious beat, and a catchy hook, Take U Home 2 My Mama is made especially for the clubs and flows smoothly into the title track (Love vs. Money), which is even hotter with a synth-heavy cock-aim-and-shoot beat. Emotion pours through the vocals and it bleeds into its sequel, Love vs Money Pt 2, which has a more subtle beat but switches the direction of his frustration from his own embattled heart to the object of his pain (Nivea, anyone?). Ballad lovers will appreciate Fancy, the albums smoothest contribution, and the lyrically engaging Right Side of My Brain a Timbaland-produced jam that recounts the feelings of losing that special love through its haunting vocals. In the same manner that it began, this album ends on a high note: in the club alongside Lil’ Jon on Let Me See The Booty – not the most clever of tracks, and definitely not the best written, but it serves its purpose.

I will admit I had my reservations about The Dream. His live performances, though few, leave much to be desired especially on the vocals, but he’s proving himself to be a genius in the studio. This album took less time to grow on me than the first one, so in that respect, it does surpass the first. Vocally, there’s a lot more to pay attention to here, between his actual singing and use of the vocoder; not necessarily a refreshing variety but he works it pretty well. There have only been a few male R&B releases in ’09, but Love vs. Money deserves placement near the top of that list…

Sound-Savvy officially rates Love vs. Money with 4.5 out of 5 platinum headphones.

Related Posts:
Video: The Dream feat. Mariah Carey - My Love
Video: The Dream feat. Fabolous, Juelz Santana, Rick Ross and Ludacris - Rockin' That Thang (Remix)
Video: The Dream - Rockin' That Thang
The Dream - Right Side of My Brain (wasn't feelin' this joint at first, but it's the unfinished version. The album version is much better!)

2 comments and counting...

  1. A. Red Said,

    The Dream brought the heat. So far I'm loving the Love vs. Money joints. They stuck out to me the most. I was half sleep trying to listen to it last night lol, but I'm going to put the cd in my car so I can get a REAL feel for it. It didn't catch my attention like his first joint, but I'm hoping that changes this evening.

    Posted on March 10, 2009 at 1:47 PM

  2. A Dot, I'm so glad you mentioned that because I had to bang it in my car to get into it too!

    Posted on March 10, 2009 at 1:56 PM


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