There's no great shift in style, no major change in direction, no genre experiments, though the all-stars who guested on his Love series are replaced by up-and-comers Big Sean and Casha. Nothing is as epic as Love IV's first single "Body Work/F--- My Brains Out," but there's plenty of great tracks on this 11-song album, like "1977 (Miss You Still)," "Wake Me When It's Over," and "Wish You Were Mine." The lovelorn "Long Gone," with its flamenco opener and its indelible pre-chorus hook, is the clear highlight here and alone worth the four minutes it'll take to download 1977. Noticeably absent, but not missed: "Murderer," that song Dream wrote after watching the Colombiana trailer.
1977's not perfect: Pharrell's guest verse on "This S--- Real N----," the stale joke at the center of the otherwise-great "Wedding Crasher," and how closer "Form of Flattery" just cuts off to end the LP are all off-notes. The major sore spot is "Silly," the song that "introduces" Casha, even though she "features" on the previous track, "Rolex." Shouldn't it be the other way around? Plenty of female artists have sung Dream tracks -- Beyoncé, Rihanna, Electrik Red, Mariah Carey -- and most of the time they turn out well (except Kim Kardashian's attempt), but "Silly" sounds like a prototypical "Prince wrote this for his beautiful protégé" track -- not Apollonia or Vanity or Sheena Easton, but one of Prince's lesser latter day protégés, like Bria Valenti. (Casha also needs to consider a name change, since Ke$ha and Ca$his exist.)
Download 1977 now over at Dream's, err, Nash's Radio Killa site, since as Terius warned on Twitter, "Chances 'DefJam' puts a Cease and Desist on 1977 unfortunately Very High. but i think yall will have it before lawyers make me take it down." Run, go!