The-Dream, CJ Hilton | House of Blues | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

The-Dream, CJ Hilton 17+ Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard

When: Sat., March 24, 9 p.m. 2012

Before ever stepping into the spotlight as a performer, Terius Nash, sometimes known as The-Dream, made a name for himself as a genius-level R&B songwriter with Rihanna's immediately canonized "Umbrella." (The quality and influence of his solo efforts have unfortunately always far surpassed their commercial success.) He's also made headlines with a tumultuous romantic life that includes a very public divorce from Christina Milian. But heartbreak is the raw material Nash works best with, and after retiring The-Dream moniker in 2011, he released the best R&B breakup album in years, 1977, as a free digital mix tape under his own name. "Used to Be" is a dense litany of petty complaints about a romantic partner, held steady by a mesmerizing vocal melody that communicates the frustration, anger, and pathos of a relationship gone bad. "Wedding Crasher," on the other hand, makes sabotaging an ex's nuptials thrown on Patron and taking the mike to deliver a wildly inappropriate toast sound like a blast. —Miles Raymer

Price: $26.50

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