If you've never heard of Terius Nash, you really should have. Songwriter to the stars, Nash, AKA The-Dream, has written many pop hits, from Rihanna's 'Umbrella' to Beyonce's 'Single Ladies'. An avid music producer and recorder, he's released three solo albums already, with a forth dropping later this year. This lp however, dropped only recently as a free collection of songs, which you can download over here. Compared with Terius' studio albums, '1977', named after his birth year, feels immediately blunter. The tone is decidedly more aggressive, while most songs still swim in the waters of pop sensibility. You may be thinking why I'm listening to this. In truth, I don't much like Nash's voice or pretty boring song structure. As a pop songwriter, both his lyricism and passion is worth a listen, but if you really don't like fairly bland and safe production, avoid. Personally, I won't be returning to this, even if it was free. I get the great lyricism and at times even quite powerful emotion, but mainstream pop/R&B just annoys me. The beats have all been done before. The number of effects lathered on his voice don't help it sound any better, like I mentioned before. It's just too... predictable. Nothing hit me on first listen as original, and different to the other half a million similar artists doing the same thing. Also, after happening on his 'Love' triptych a few months back, there is a definite lack of cohesive polish to the songs. A time restraint or not, '1977' doesn't click with me.
"Nigger", "bitch", "shit". Necessary use of language? I don't think so. I don't care if Terius is black, there is no need for such profuse racism lyricism, even if the lines separating them work more than well. There is only really one track on '1977' that stands out for me. 'Silly', introducing Casha, has a much slower, evening by candlelight tone which caresses the silky smooth vocals. Even though it is remake of another track, I think Casha nails it perfectly. None of the other ten numbers got me even partially excited. The-Dream, for all the irony, teeters on the edge between sounding stupid and corny, and creating something brilliant. For all his sins, Terius and his sincerity keeps him balanced, and as such there isn't much to watch, or in this case, listen to. I suppose, although the passion is there, I wanted more experimentation, rather than the predictable and dare-I-say-it, mainstream elements, to back that up. In the end, this really is my opinion. Stream 'Long Gone' below, and if you like it, go ahead and grab the whole of '1977' for free here.