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Love King chronicles an emotional rollercoaster of attachment; whether it be literal, instant, absent or vacuous.
The-Dream is a pop producer, so he caters widely. Commercial radio will happily spin ‘Yamaha,’ ‘Make Up Bag‘ and ‘Turnt Out‘ from his third album Love King for months to come. But to judge the album by its commercial offerings would be unfair to the meticulousness with which The-Dream created this album.
At a first listen, the web of melodies, emotional tantrums and sex braggadocio that delivers you to ‘Yamaha’ verges on the unapproachable. Yet it’s the very fact that this interwoven handful of opening songs are so inseparable –– and delicately composed –– that comes to impress on further listens. Many will be turned off when implored to “d-drop five stacks on a make up bag,” but his materialistic rants are just sarcastic enough, and sonically perfect.
Love King chronicles an emotional rollercoaster of attachment; whether it be literal, instant, absent or vacuous. The tale is delivered over larger-than-life production; momentous elements of 80’s synth music run rampant under vocals that are layered, screwed and chopped in the vein of the last decade’s r&b.
‘Yamaha’ has your heart racing down the highway and the ‘Abyss‘ created from the inevitable crash makes for an intense soundscape. And from the sorrowfully pouring rain we return to mindless humping in the upbeat ‘Panties to the Side‘. He must have had fun piecing this together.
It’s hard not to admire the fact that the most clinical of commercial producers has delivered 17 compositions wholly dependent on their surrounding songs. Synths and lyrical themes form the seams that sow the whole thing up. So, for 80 minutes, you should ignore the bubble-gummed 3-minute joints that have been paying his bills and get acquainted with what The-Dream’s talent will do to a set of recordings. As he puts it on the opening track: “You don’t know me like that –– you should know me like that.”
Words Sven Carlsson