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Saturday, March 12, 2016

Dream: Reality (Press Advance) (Promo CDr) (Bad Boy Entertainment, 2003)

It was the latest trend in the early 2000s for major hip hop producers to have a token pop act on their roster and the above group was the brainchild of Bad Boy impresario Sean "Diddy" Combs. After jumping on the contemporary R&B bandwagon in the mid 90s, the Bad Boy brand was responsible for many popular acts including Faith Evans, Total and 112. Sadly by the time the millennium rolled around with its preference towards shitty pop music, many of them began to fall out of favor and once again Combs had to decide on a
new direction to take: the teen pop market. Originally assembled in 1998 by a talent scout looking to recruit members to form an all-new girl group, Dream was the epitome of a manufactured band. Their first album It Was All A Dream is not something that I would ever listen to although some of the productions by Combs and Winans were not that bad. It went platinum and before long Combs was churning out paint-by-numbers pop hits for Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears and other absolute horrors. By the time it came for group to record their second album, Combs - seeing how it worked for Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera - had decided to sex-up their image a little. This was not welcomed by them or by their critics and along with the departure of one member who left to pursue an acting career, it pretty much spelt the end of them. Their comeback single, Crazy (Scott Storch) was panned by critics and after being pushed back about half a dozen times, their second album Reality was eventually shelved and the group dropped from Bad Boy Records altogether in 2004. In 2005 it was briefly available for purchase via French Virgin Mega Stores but it would take another three years before it would be available in the US, the licensing rights having presumably been brought by the group's former label Clockwork Entertainment/2620 Music. Please bear in mind it is only available in mp3 format and 3 songs (Bring It Back, Promise Me and It Could Happen) have been cut from the track-listing. Not one of my all-time favorites by far but some great work by Jerkins (Hard To Stop), The Underdogs. (That's OK) and of course Combs & Winans (What Is It You're Feeling & It Could Happen.)

As for Combs, he continued to be preoccupied with pop music for the oncoming decade. His next conquest Dainty Kane was the result of a TV talent show...

Diana (interlude) 0:51
Why me 3:40
That's ok (ft. Fabolous) 4:19
Crazy (ft. Loon) 3:59
Hard to stop 3:40
The real me 3:28
What it is you're feeling 3:37
Bring it back 3:56
Holly (interlude) 1:24
Sitting here 3:51
Clap 3:24
Promise me 4:10
Kasey (interlude) 0:40
It could happen 4:12
Controlled 4:26
Ashley (interlude) 0:56
I am woman 3:27