After turning out hits for Rihanna and Justin Bieber, The-Dream returns to the spotlight with his third, and possibly final, album as an artist. Did Love King reign supreme with critics? Find out below.
Entertainment Weekly: On his third album as a performer, the man behind “Umbrella” and “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” The-Dream, doesn’t change things up much. He spins more epic tales of lust and jealousy with sexually aggressive lyrics that hover somewhere between serious and silly. B
USA Today: His penchant for catchy hooks and infectious beats makes it easy to overlook the sometimes banal lyrics. Besides, he scores several genuine winners. The smooth “Veteran” extols the virtue of experience, while “February Love” is a heartfelt ballad. So even though The-Dream is contemplating retirement as a singer, he still makes music for himself that can’t be slept on. 3 out of 4
Los Angeles Times: Although his previous efforts amply showcased his admirable melodic gifts and sturdy but soaring falsetto, he projected a facelessness that demarcated him from his idols. Love King again finds him covering well-trodden ground, but this time he manages to put a fresher spin on tired tropes. 3 out of 4
New York Daily News: For Love King, The-Dream cuts that trend cold, mimmicking the tune-free, R&B vamps of the man who has done more to narrow the genre’s range than anyone: R. Kelly. In doing so, The-Dream hasn’t only made a torpid CD. He has undermined his own legacy.
The Washington Post: Along with this lyrical hypnosis comes wonderful pop-synthesis. Across the album’s dozen tracks, The-Dream blends power-ballad schmaltz with post-crunk brio to create a potent brew. … For all The-Dream lacks as a lyricist, he compensates for it as a sonic architect.
Rap-Up’s Favorite Tracks: “Love King,” “Yamaha,” “Florida University”