Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

The-Dream ft. Mariah Carey – My Love

Guess who’s got corn-rows!…


Edward Okulicz: Very much a mini-“We Belong Together” – a densely opulent production without a distracting beat, just sparse clicks so you can better hear all the layers of vocals. The-Dream and Mariah sound good together – he sounds warm and smooth, and she gets to show off most of her emotional range in half the allotted time of one of her own singles. A rainy, snuggling-in-bed while gorging liqueur chocolates kinda song.

Martin Skidmore: Restrained, wistful singing and finger-snapping backing: it’s all very subtle and quite simple. He’s not the greatest singer I’ve ever heard, but he’s a great songwriter, and the production (for once not by Christopher “Tricky” Stewart”) is lovely. Mariah stays nearly as restrained too a lot of the time – she judges her performance here very well, I think, giving it some power at the right points. It’s not got a mighty hook and may even be a touch forgettable, but it’s an absolute pleasure to listen to.

Alex Macpherson: Both of the A-list collaborations on The-Dream’s Love vs Money concept album come across like namedropping, in the best possible way. He’s a man showing off his famous friends, but also how invaluable he can be to them: “Walkin’ On The Moon” and “My Love” are as exquisitely tailored to Kanye and Mariah respectively as bespoke suits (In the context of the album, this all seems even more perfect). Kanye gets a louche, post-‘American Boy’ 4×4 glide; and Mariah gets a tinkly, girlish, music box confection which sits precisely in between her own “We Belong Together” and “Touch My Body”. The-Dream even finds time to deliver a ridiculous Mariahism in “Who’s been loving you lately? Who’s willing to go half on a baby?”, while Mariah prettily, sweetly and obliviously croons her devotion.

Rodney J. Greene: The two lines that simultaneously function both as the song’s crassest and most sweet form a congruity between verses, with Dreamer’s “Who’s willing to go half on a baby?” squaring off against Mariah’s “Who’s in love with your ass like crazy?” When Mariah finally belts it out, it’s as reassuring as it is predictable.

Al Shipley: I can see why Mariah’s letting The-Dream write her next album, based purely on the fact that “Touch My Body” is the only hit she’s had lately. But the truth is that the repetitious little hoots and hooks that work so well for him and similarly limited vocalists like Rihanna are a poor fit for Mariah, as proven by this timid little trifle. Even as she hits her higher registers and makes an effort to bring it off the ground, it feels like an intermission in the context of his album, nevermind single material.

Martin Kavka: I suggest treating this song as a drinking game. While watching the video, swig when The-Dream throws the frying pan on the floor, in perhaps the worst imitation of Brando ever committed to celluloid. Drink every time you laugh at Mariah’s cornrows. (She’s keepin’ it real, folks! Gettin’ ready for Glitter II!) Take a gulp when The-Dream poses with his Grammy. Drink when you say to yourself, “OK, Mariah’s going to belt in ten seconds.” Take another drink when she actually belts. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Hillary Brown: A step up after “Rockin’ That Thang” and one of the highlights of a complex, delicate album, “My Love” is gentle without just trying to get in your pants, which is an approach sorely lacking on the radio these days. Beautiful vocal work here, layered production, and just general adulthood without a lack of joy.

Ian Mathers: Mariah’s verse is the most genuinely affecting thing I’ve heard from her in years, although naturally enough she succumbs to the temptation to over-emote just after – but in the context of Terius Nash’s ultra-plush, uh, dreamscapes it actually works. After all, The-Dream himself is going to remain smooth and withdrawn throughout as per normal, so a little fireworks provide some much needed contrast.

Jordan Sargent: As a story of deep love, “My Love” could be more detailed and more convincing from a literary standpoint. In fact, its three and a half minutes seem comically short, especially when Mariah launches into her expected vocal histrionics immediately after her verse. If anything, though, the fact that “My Love” works so well despite its on-paper failings is just another testament to The-Dream’s next-level genius. On “My Love”, he uses underrated collaborator LOS Da Maestro’s airy beat – it’s more cotton candy than anything – as a backdrop for a song that’s like only watching the resolution of a teen movie. The important lines – “Who’s willing to go half on the baby?”; “Who’s in love with your ass like crazy?” – hit the perfect notes, and Mariah’s vocals draw so much emotion out of such little material that they might as well be snake venom.

7 Responses to “The-Dream ft. Mariah Carey – My Love”

  1. Via ILM, observe as The-Dream writes and produces a demo of this song in one hour flat. (Then he finishes off “Put It Down” for good measure.)

  2. ‘for once not by Christopher “Tricky” Stewart”’

    Los da Maestro is just as much a part of the Dream machine as Tricky Stewart.

  3. los is kinda lost on lvm imo because his three songs are done in the first five tracks, but he did all of my favorite songs on l/h

  4. That this got a full point and a half higher average than “Rockin’ That Thang” is absurd.

  5. Probably because it’s a full point and a half (or more) better.

  6. Al, “Rockin’ That Thang” is probably my third favorite song from the record (after “Fancy” and this cut), and while there’s not all that much technically to “My Love,” it’s just so perfectly done I don’t see why you hate. The hook is gorgeous and quickly and efficiantly resolved, and Mariah’s vocals are some ethereal shit. I love how she switches from head voice to chest voice mid-line those times; the emotional range she’s able to convey with such little to work with is something else.

  7. I’m with Al on this one. “Rockin’ That Shit” (I refuse to refer to the radio edits of songs) is waaaaay better than this.