Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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***1/2

THE-DREAM
Love vs. Money
Def Jam

Catapulted into commercial viability when Rihanna's "Umbrella" overshadowed the summer of 2007, Terius Nash, d/b/a The-Dream, released the gloriously eccentric sex album Love/Hate, its signature moment an "Umbrella" clone called "Falsetto" about just how high he could make his shawty squeal. It yielded R&B hits, went gold and failed to make him as ubiquitous as Akon. Maybe the studiously conventional Love Vs. Money will, but maybe one is enough. Right, the multiplex jams Nash fashions with Tricky Stewart are of deeper intrinsic sensual interest than Akon's hooks--check how "Love Vs. Money: Part 2" layers and sequences two orchestral textures, electronica noises, a harmonizing chorus and a homey chant and an occasional yelp, and who knows how many drum and bass elements. But The-Dream will turn on only the many hopeful ladies who consider Patrón the most exquisite of aphrodisiacs.

Blender, May 2009