The-Dream's '1977,' Mourning a Marriage

[caption id="attachment_11954" align="alignnone" width="640" caption="The-Dream performs at the BET "Rising Icons" Taping, July 2009. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images"][/caption]

Early this morning Terius Nash, a.k.a. The-Dream, dropped his 1977 LP on the Radio Killa website. The free download will be up for a few days despite the resistance of his label Def Jam who have delayed The-Dream's scheduled forthcoming album The Love, IV (Diary of a Mad Man) due to contractual negotiations. "I think y'all will have [1977] before the lawyers take it down," he Tweeted last night. So go and get it, but brace yourself for what's in store: Terius Nash is going through a rough patch.

There's a self-assured lyrical swagger that we've come to expect from The-Dream. Apologies come with sass, sexual innuendo is dished with ease, and even the most sincere of love songs are delivered with unwavering confidence. And while The-Dream makes feel-good music, regardless of the subject matter, Terius Nash does not. It's depressing in the way that when you hear the hook of "Wedding Crasher," where he croons "Just me and my bottle of Patron / Singing you my drunk song." You believe that the man singing those words probably drunk-dialed his ex later that night, only after slitting his wrist just a bit.

As a whole, 1977 is a combination of an apology and a eulogy so generously sprinkled with self-deprecation that, at times, it's hard to listen to. To be fair, Mr. Nash is dealing with a lot here. While his split from Christina Milian is the most obvious propeller behind the album, there's also a tribute to his mother via "1977 Miss You Still," and commentary on copycat R&B producers via "Ghetto," which features Big Sean. Where tracks like "Form of Flattery" and "Used to Be," fall flat because of a combination of lazier production and writing, the collaborative "This Shit Real," featuring Pharrell, and "Silly," featuring his newer protegee Casha, show signs of the Radio Killa we know and love. In the meantime, can we just give the dude a hug? [Download 1977 here.]