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Critics in our most recent Pazz & Jop poll were more enthusiastic about The-Dream’s Love vs. Money than any of the other thousand odd LPs that made the 2009 list; the record received the most points per ballot by a wide margin, though a vast contingent of indie voters cosigned the LP to a underperforming #13 slot overall. Rest assured SOTC was in the former, insanely enthusiastic category, rather than the Animal Collective-jocking latter. “Cry,” the song The-Dream wrote in under an hour in the final days of 2009 for his Twitter followers, more or less, hasn’t been bested by anyone, from R. Kelly to Trey Songz on down, in the two months-plus since. His next record, Love King, is supposedly his last, and not only is it finished, but the record’s eponymous first single emerged late last night. Hallelujah, right?
Well, sort of. The songwriter who wrote “Umbrella” and “Single Ladies” has a couple of different gears; there’s what he’ll give to Mariah or eventually, one assumes, Justin Bieber, and then there are his own records, which have typically been reserved for weirder, more personal, less flashy experiments, which is why they’re gems. “Love King” isn’t really that–he could’ve easily written this song for anyone from J. Holiday to Jesse McCartney and achieved a somewhat similar result. Which is to say it bears his usually assured touch without being particularly distinctive or idiosyncratic. There are songs like this on Love Vs. Money too, so not to worry–yet, anyway. We’ll still probably be bumping it all day. Stream it from Def Jam and do the same.