P.Diddy and his record label Bad Boy Records has "graced" the musical world with many artists over the years. To be honest, I don't remember many of them, as most went on to a few minor hits and dropped from the face of the earth. Then there was his failed attempt at "Making a Band" with a little project known as Da Band(I know, brilliant name isn't it?) Unfortunately for them, they couldn't quite compare to another more famous "The Band", that has reached classic status. However, one of the many artists on Bad Boy from a quite a time ago still sticks in my mind. Their time has long come and passed, but a group of four very attractive young women took the country by storm, and I remember it all so very well. That band was Dream
You win some, you lose some...when you're in the music business trying to make it big, more often that not your big break results in a mere fifteen minutes of fame. For the girls of Dream, it was a monumental effort, and their rise to stardom was a somewhat pleasant surprise. I remember all too well, I was still young, still ripe into my teenage years. I was at a bit of a musical indentity crisis. I didn't know what to listen to, I just listened to whatever sounded good to me. No matter how much substance the music had, I listened to it based on the catchiness factor.
And all that fateful spring morning in 2001, I was blessed with the sultry bubblegom pop goodness of "He Loves U Not". The video was playing early on MTV before I had to leave for school, and I was fixated immediately. They were hot, no question about that, but I was taken aback at the overall vibe of the song. A nice hip-hop influenced beat and some interesting musical sounds and piano intertwined with their innocent yet seducing voices. Diana, Melissa, Holly, Ashley...oh yes, the names still ring clear in my head.
So for the next few weeks this song was imbedded into my head and I had to learn more, so I eventually purchased the album whenever I scrounged together enough cash from my allowance. What we have here is a R&B, Hip-Hop influenced pop album. A mixture of more straightforward bubble-gum pop, some moderately upbeat dance tracks, etc. This effects the albums consistency, but overall it still provides a somewhat enjoyable listen.
It starts with a cheesy and kind of trippy intro with the girls basically just introducing themselves by saying their names. This leads into the lead single "He Loves U Not", which I have already explained prior in the review. A great pop song, one of the best I have heard in awhile. Most will probably disagree and that is fine, but I enjoy it still to this day. A major gripe I have with the rest of the album is the length and the unneeded tracks. There are a good 3-4 interludes, most of which have no real value to the album and offer nothing insightful to the following track. All the "Reality" interlude and "Jordan" interludes are basically just the girls talking amongst themselves in a watered down, teenage-girl friendly language that will irk anyone with a high level of intelligence. The cheesiness factor runs high here, and don't feel ashamed to let out a chuckle here and there.
Ahh, the cheesiness is relevant some more with the unexpected, uninspired, and pathetic attempt at a rap about 3/4 of the way through "Pain", done oh so horribly by Ashley. It ruins what is not such a bad song, closed out by a angelic intertwining of all the girls singing something different but fitting together perfectly. "Mr. Telephone" is yet another cheesy song that that album really could do without. Come on, just read these lyrics:
Mr Telephone man
There's something wrong with my line
when I dial my baby's number
I get a click everytime
Disgusting. Vile. Uninspired. A shame to lyricists everywhere. You can't expect much lyrical depth from the genre, but this is shameful. Dreadfully shameful. Even more shameful is the attempted remix of "He Loves U Not" thrown at the end of the album. It sounds nothing like the original and doesn't add anything new to it either, it's basically an attempt at a nice club track that doesn't quite live up to it's intention.
Well, now that I have described mostly the downfalls of the album, let me present to you some of the actual good portions. The first part of the album is great, with "He Loves U Not", "In My Dreams", and "This is Me" starting the album out with a trio of incredibly catchy and potentially huge songs. "This is Me" was the other major hit off of this album, and rightfully so. Another solid pop track that is easy to get stuck in the head. In fact, it has been stuck in my head since it came out and I won't lie, I still know it word for word. I'm not ashamed of it either! Personally, I wish it was still in karoake bars across the country, because I would rip it up with that track.
A lot of filler makes up the rest of it, just basically more of the same dance/pop songs. Some of them are decent, like the majority of "Pain", the techno-esque goodness of "What we Gonna Do About Us", the sultry R&B track "Angel Inside", "Do You Wanna Dance?" which reminds me more of an 80's pop song, and the beautiful ballad "How Long" which the girls pull of nicely.
Overall, a decent album, and probably the best thing out of Bad Boy in awhile. It's a shame they fell so fast. They tried to make a comeback with the song "Crazy" a few years later and we're going to release a new album, but record deal issues and turmoil within the group ruined this. We all knew however that their 15 minutes were up, and it comes as no surprise that they no longer exist, and for the most part they have been completely forgotten. But just remember girls, in the depths of my soul, and the bottum of my heart, in the back of my thoughts, you will always still be there. You were my first love. Le sigh, how I miss you so. But I must press on. I lost your album and was inspired to hear it again, and managed to find it for two dollars and fifty cents at my local CD warehouse. An absolute steal! I would recommend everyone to pick it up and give it a shot for that price. What's two dollars these days? Nothing!