As super-producer-turned-solo-artist the-Dream, Terius Nash is known for singing about romance with a real-world irreverence that’s insightful, funny and quite rare. His R&B records are lush and accessible, always hinting at music-nerd studiousness and entangled with evocative, aggressive metaphors and imagery.
Though still sonically proficient and expensive-sounding, Nash’s latest free mixtape, 1977, sucks by comparison – at least in terms of subject matter and delivery. Wake Me When It’s Over and Used To Be set a bleak, thorny tone and bear traces of Nash’s beloved unvarnished lyrics (“You used to be anti-internet / Now you’re always blogging and shit”).
But from there, he trades acuity for boorishness, moaning (Long Gone) and flailing (Wedding Crasher) like a drunken, bitter lothario with a falsetto. Even though he openly cheated on his ex-wife, singer Christina Milian, he sounds despondent about the breakup. Awkward and embarrassing, the mixtape as a whole feels like a PR move to get you to listen to Nash-free embedded song Silly by new protégé Casha.
Top track: Used To Be