The power ballad that established the-Dream as a Gen-Y Smokey Robinson hitches a gigantic hook to a heart-tugging shelter-from-the-storm metaphor, and the 21st century’s most indelible nonsense syllables: ella, ella! Eh, eh!
Mary J. Blige, 2007
Dream’s catchiest club jam is a buoyant self-esteem anthem (“I like what I see . . . walking past the mirror”) awash in a disco-era mirror-ball glow.
Another enormously touching ballad about relationship travails and emotional weather systems. “Umbrella” was no fluke: Dream can do emotional nuance as well as he does sex talk.
“Touch My Body”
Mariah Carey, 2008
This slinky Number One hit has one of Dream’s funniest lyrics — alternately cheeky (“They be all up in my business/Like a Wendy interview”) and ribald (“I best not catch this flick on YouTube”).
“Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”
The exuberantly funky single that launched a zillion YouTube tributes features a fiendishly ear-wormy tune and a lyric that distills B’s romance-finance calculus to a simple message: one diamond ring, please.
“Rockin’ That Thang”
The lead single from his new Love vs. Hate is classic Dream: a peak-period Prince synthesizer line, a swaying singsong hook and lyrics that don’t skimp on the details: “She under my shirt/I’m under her bra.”