Release Date: Aug 31, 2011
Record label: Radio Killa
"You used to strip for a nigga," Terius Nash reminisces on "Used To Be." "Now, you got nothing but lip for a nigga." 1977, a free, "unofficial" album from the urban pop titan usually known as The-Dream, is full of crassness like this: poorly articulated male scorn rooted in juvenile, you-made-me-cheat reasoning. "Just me and my bottle of Patron singing this drunk song," he bellows on "Wedding Crashers," and for once he nails it: The album seems like it's full of the slurred, narcissistic half-truths that lurk at the bottom of a shot glass. Equally flat is the production, where Nash trades in his radio killing Southern bounce for a moody synth-fest that rarely coalesces – imagine R.
1977 is-- to quote Terius Nash himself-- an "Internet album." Nash (aka The-Dream) released it for free on his website on August 31, with the begrudged blessing of his bosses at Def Jam. It's his fourth solo album, but his first released in this manner, and it raises the question of whether or not we are supposed to alter our expectations. Is this a tossed-off re-packaging of demos? Is he merely trying to satiate a fanbase waiting for an album that he promised to drop this past June? We don't know the answers to those questions (although my guesses would be "no" and "maybe"), but it would seem foolish to hold 1977 to a lower standard.
Terius Nash: 1977 isn’t a real album, a fact that even Def Jam seems to be subtly admitting by dropping it unceremoniously at the end of the year. The-Dream’s proper follow-up to Love King has been delayed for 17 months and counting, which has caused the label to scoop up this stopgap batch of tracks, released online for free way back in the summer of 2011, and deceptively repackage it just in time for the holidays. Yet even considering its table-scrap status, the album proves to be an essential listen: Most artists would be thankful to come up with something even this intermittently transcendent.
According to release schedules, I was supposed to be reviewing The-Dream’s new Def Jam album Love IV this week. But as is often the case with mainstream urban artists, contract issues on behalf of the label came to a head as the release date came closer and the album has been delayed, perhaps as far back as December. In disgust, Terius Nash, known to the world as the epic songwriter The-Dream, has taken his talents to the internet like hundreds of young, aspiring rappers have done over the past two years.
There’s plenty to like about singer/hired-gun songwriter, producer, and Radio Killa Records head Terius Nash, better known as The-Dream. Nash is one of Atlanta’s true pop-music craftsmen, much like Dallas Austin (of TLC production fame) before him. After three records, it’s tempting to say that it’s impossible for him to release a bad beat or song.
As super-producer-turned-solo-artist the-Dream, Terius Nash is known for singing about romance with a real-world irreverence that's insightful, funny and quite rare. His R&B records are lush and accessible, always hinting at music-nerd studiousness and entangled with evocative, aggressive metaphors and imagery. Though still sonically proficient and expensive-sounding, Nash's latest free mixtape, 1977, sucks by comparison - at least in terms of subject matter and delivery.
Nash’s break-up album is just as captivating as his songs of bedroom rumpus. Natalie Shaw 2011 As news of Terius ‘The-Dream’ Nash’s infidelities hit the papers, legions of people started rubbing their hands together filthily: what more could this bad-guy genius possibly give away about the innermost workings of his brain, and just how many more pop songs would it take before he broke? Fans of The-Dream’s own material – and his empowering writing for Beyoncé, Rihanna and Mariah – have been fed since day one with astonishing top line melodies, delicious contradictions, offhand gender role-play and lyrics so filthy they practically dry-hump the air. While Nash may almost exclusively make songs about sex, he never stops being inventive – and the great news is that 1977 feels heavier, deeper and more addictive than ever.
TERIUS NASH “1977” (radiokillarecords.com) No songwriter and producer of the last few years has done more to define the sound of female R&B than Terius Nash (a k a The-Dream). Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Beyoncé — he’s reinvented them all. And yet no male R&B singer is more skeptical about women than Mr. Nash, who on his albums as The-Dream portrays relationships as dysplasias born of the unfortunate intersection of romance and money and fame and fear.