It might have been the best moment of the entire week. Since mid-December I have been rocking to an album called "Love/Hate" by The-Dream, the force behind last year's mega-hits "Umbrella" and "Bed." Despite his irritating moniker and completely unnecessary hyphen, he has come up with the best R&B album I've heard in a really long time. I bought this album almost on a lark and have been completely taken with it. Of the twelve tracks, I love ... eleven of them. The whole album is incredibly unified and coherent -- not to say that the songs all sound the same, but they share many common vocal elements, giving Mr. Dream the chance to play with these pieces in exciting and unexpected ways. The music is fast and hot and sexy and catchy -- it's not morose, it's at a party and having a good time.
So I have been listening to this cd constantly for over a month now, my attention wandering from track to track, trying to pay attention to how the songs leak into each other and why exactly this thing is so strong and nearly perfect. On Thursday night I went to hip hop, not sure what song Russell had picked for the next few weeks, and then he starts playing the track -- Oh no he did not, is what I think, as track number nine, "Ditch That," starts thumping through the speakers. I spend the rest of the class elated, rocking my game face and mouthing the words, but also trying to tone it down so I don't look like a nerd, and then ultimately not caring and letting myself get swept away in the music.
It was that first moment that did it -- recognizing the track immediately and knowing how the rest of the time would be, drowning yourself in this song you already love for the better part of an hour. It was like walking into your own surprise party. It was as good as it can be.