Music Review: 1 year after his breakthrough CD ‘Ready,’ Trey Songz is average on 4th release

By Mesfin Fekadu, AP
Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Music Review: Trey Songz’s 4th release is average

Trey Songz, “Passion, Pain & Pleasure” (Atlantic Records)

Trey Songz has a new album? Yup.

The singer, who became an R&B star after the release of his breakthrough 2009 CD “Ready,” is trying to capitalize on that success with “Passion, Pain & Pleasure.”

But what the 25-year-old should have been is patient. The new effort shines at moments, but it sounds rushed — some of the songs are average when they could have been outstanding.

“Bottoms Up,” the lead single, has a club-ready beat, but the lyrics are weak and Nicki Minaj steals Songz’s thunder with her animated rhymes. “Unfortunate” starts off nicely, but its hook is annoyingly repetitive while “Red Lipstick” and “Doorbell” feel cheesy. Even the Drake-featured “Unusual” is unnecessary.

Songz fares better on the tunes about love lapses: He sounds cool on the Mario Winans-assisted “Can’t Be Friends” and classic on “Please Return My Call.” He downright demands that his lover come back on the thumping “Made to Be Together.” Songz also shines on his signature bedroom grooves “Love Faces” and “Massage.”

“Ready” was a Grammy-nominated album that made Songz one of R&B’s leading male and helped him break onto the pop charts. This new album should have been released as an extension of that project.

CHECK THIS TRACK OUT: Vocals are top-notch and production crisp on “Please Return My Call,” a 1990s-sounding sincere plea to a lover.

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