If I didn't know that The-Dream wrote "Umbrella" and "Single Ladies" I probably wouldn't have given this album a full listen. I'm not disrespecting The-Dream here, but he's showed us his ability, and for a man with those skills, I have a hard time understanding how he can release this album with a straight face. I'm going to warn you now: reading this review could be painful... which will mirror what I went through as I listened to the album. Ugh...
"My Love (Feat. Mariah Carey)," or as it should be called "Touch My Body 2," is the first example of the blah blah that this album has in store. It's certainly not the worst song on the album, but it brings absolutely nothing new to the music world. You would hope that a song that advertises such a high profile name as Mariah would come up big. Well, it disapoints, sounds just like every other vanilla R&B song out there, and sets the tone for the slew of cliche lyrics, the redundant back beats, and almost unbearable cheese to come.
Not to bring it up again, but how can the guy that wrote "Umbrella" write these jams which are both gross and lame. In "Sweat it Out" (don't use too much imagination on that title), he actually sings this: "She got protection in her pocket book" which he rhymes with "I've been readin' you like an open book." He proceeds to talk about which clothes he's gonna take off and at some point he talks about how in the process of "sweating it out" he messed up her hair, and she shoulda got braids (I'm not making this crap up guys). He goes on to bring up Tiesha (her beautician) like 200 trillion times, and then he yells "whip it flip it" a few times and it's mercifully over. Remember that time Ashlee Simpson performed at the Orange Bowl? Remember how the entire stadium's boos reverberated through the venue for 3 days? I wanted that to happen to The-Dream after "Sweat it Out."
"Love vs. Money" (the title track) is a complete rats nest of a song. The beat is a mess, the melody is a mess, and the words... well, you tell me. He sings, "Instead of loving you, I was making it rain." It's actually like he's trying to sound lame! The song (like many on this album) is about 5 measures of music looped until it finally bleeds into the slightly more aggressive "Love Vs Money 2."
Kanye West does make an appearance on this album, and it truly is one of the only high points that I experienced. Don't get me wrong here... it's only good in comparison to the rest of the music on THIS album. When held up next to music that Kanye has released, this really isn't anything to get excited about. Still, it's Kanye, and he's good... saying that, it would be nice if Kanye sounded like he actually wanted to do this song and like he wasn't just doing The-Dream a favor.
You probably know people that liked this album. You may have read one of the many favorable reviews it's gotten... trust me, you have to be a SERIOUS R&B person to like it (I'm not). Serious fan as in you have R. Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet" on your iPod and you listen to it regularly. For a run-of-the-mill R&B fan, this isn't worth the plastic it's printed on. Save your pennies and find something else. Thinking back now, I can't think of a song that I particularly liked, would listen back to, or would play for a friend. I'm a big believer in sharing good music, and there honestly isn't a song on Love vs. Money that I can even hum back to you, let alone one that I'm impressed enough to pass on. Most reviewers know what The-Dream is capable of, so they may give this record a pass. Still, I can't get over the cliches ("running like a track meet" or "as much rubbing as we do I could start a fire"), boring phrasing, and altogether unlistenable cheese that The-Dream presents.