Beyoncé, 1 + 1 (critically lauded, albums certified platinum after topping the Billboard 200 for two consecutive weeks) and Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) (Topped four separate U.S. charts, four times platinum, guaranteed to be played at every wedding until eternity ends)
Mariah Carey, Touch My Body (Jack McBrayer-starring video boasts more than 51 million YouTube hits)
Rihanna, Umbrella (triple-platinum, three Grammy nods and one win; Wikipedia page is nearly 20,000 words long)
When it comes to stroking the public sense of intimacy and sexuality, the dudes got the magic touch. Hes also impressively honest (see: the title of promotional single Fuck My Brains Out) for a guy experiencing success in a market that typically reward early Britney Spears pop-star types who flagrantly deny any trace of sexual over- or undertones in their music (its just a matter of time before that next Justin Bieber album drops, guys).
And aside from one particularly obnoxious track Im not sure if I can completely forgive you for thinking it would be a good idea to imitate Yelawolf on This Shit Real Ni**a, dude it seems Nashs first album without his The-Dream alias brings the goods. The things laden with his signature silky vocals and ornamental beats as well as plenty of my very favorite The-Dreamism, that vocal Ohhhhh that sounds like he recorded it while dropping a fadeaway shot from beyond the arc (check the chorus of on the title track of the album Love King if youre not sure what Im talking about).
While it distinguishes itself stylistically and thematically from most of the rest of 1977, (which you can download for free at the Radio Killa Records website!) Silly is easily my favorite track here, a slowed-down, throwback girlie ballad owing just as much to early early aughts girl pop as it does to the late 60s. Cashas vocals are modern-cartoonish exaggerations of Minnie Riperton and Denise Williams who, a very long time ago, popularized the hook oh love, stop makin a fool of me but thats usually a good thing in pop music. The songs just one more example of Nashs remarkable ability to produce something incredible with nothing to start with more than a female voice.
But yeah, as I said, the rest of the album adheres more strictly to subject matter Nash explored as The-Dream: mainly fame, girls and how they mix. In stark opposition to The Weeknds particularly dark, exploitative attitude toward women, its clear that Nash gets emotionally entangled with most of his. I miss you every time it rains / Youre written all over me / Your grandchildren are a sight to see, he sings on 1977 (Miss You Still).
Opening track Wake Me When Its Over trods similar territory, although Nash isnt reminiscing anything but how good his last girls body was, leaving much of the track to dangle in the ether, beat-less. Per the title, however, hes fully aware of the end of the relationship, and seems to lament the loss more weightily than he celebrates any praise of her shape.
And while hes definitely the type to get all depressed over a busted relationship, hes far from meek in his songwriting. Stop fuckin with me if you aint fuckin with me, woman, he says on Used to Be, with sooooooo much authority.
But dont worry, there are fun, heavy-synth tracks where Nash unfurls that glorious pop voice of his. Rolex and Ghetto are about as much fun as youll have listening to any R&B album this year. So hop in that red Ferrari with a couple of dime pieces, pop this album in and cruise around Hollywood. Or maybe just imagine youre doing that. Matt Carney