Friday, September 17, 2010

Review: Trey Songz Delivers On 'Passion, Pain & Pleasure' Despite What The Critics Say

Trey Songz returns with his fourth studio album Passion, Pain & Pleasure, looking to dive into the core of R&B.

I’ll be honest, when I first heard earlier this year that Trey Songz was releasing an album just 13 months after releasing his album Ready, I automatically assumed that the album was going to bomb.

We see it all the time; an artist does well and gains fame from one project. Wanting to build on that momentum, they go and rush a follow-up album instead of basking in the newfound fame they have received.

And then the reviews were published confirming exactly what I had predicted.

A few critics wrote about the same concerns I had before listening to the album, such as the album being rushed also adding that Trey’s new project wasn’t as good as his last.

After listening to Songz’s Passion, Pain & Pleasure, I was surprisingly impressed.

I’m probably one of the few female music fans that isn't a fan of Trey Songz. I listened to Ready and disliked it. It was too over sexual with its bedroom references and horny undertones for my taste. Yes, there were some songs on Ready that gave the sex talk a rest but for the most part it was sex, sex, sex… and did I say sex?

I’m not a saint, do not get me wrong; but Ready in my opinion left nothing to the imagination and lacked variety.

On Passion, Pain & Pleasure, Trey did a balancing act in which he provided tracks on the album that would pacify his fan base that look to him for his sex oriented songs as well as allowing fans that were drawn in by songs from his earlier work such as “Gotta Go” and “Can’t Help But Wait” to have a little romantic simplicity to remember him by.

The thing I liked most about the album was that it had a theme and I loves me a themed album.

The album’s interludes served as introductions into the tracks. For example, songs that followed Pain such as “Can’t Be Friends” and “Made to Be Together” were tracks that allowed Songz to narrate stories that were based on that emotion. The same was done for Passion and for Pleasure.

After listening to Passion, Pain & Pleasure I realized why some critics were slamming the album and saying that it wasn’t his best. Trey takes on different characters when it comes to his albums which make him seem inconsistent.

Though some may feel that it just shows that he is growing, not everyone will see it that way. The fact that the album takes a slight stride down the classic R&B road might also have something to do with the negative views regarding the LP, as some people believe that the contemporary R&B that borders Pop today is what defines the genre.

Surely, many who got to know Trey for the first time thanks to Ready and didn’t know him during his I Gotta Make It and Trey Day days were expecting his new project to be the second coming of Ready – seeing him stay close to his new signature style of being a sex symbol.

But overall, the album will not only help solidify him as an artist but it will also show that he can be versatile as well. Even Marvin Gaye took a break from bed tunes every once in a while.

There were some tracks on the album that could have been left out that were redundant and irrelevant, but the majority of the tracks on Passion, Pain & Pleasure were a buffet of up to par production, songwriting, and singing – despite what the critics may say.

And if all fails, the fans that want Trey’s sexy can just put “Unusual” featuring Drake on repeat, which should suffice.

Track Treats: “Alone”, "Please Return My Call", “Can’t Be Friends”, “Made to Be Together”, “Unusual.”

Out of 5 yummy cones, Trey Songz’s Passion, Pain & Pleasure gets…

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