Virginia native and R&B singer Trey Songz returns after two years with his third offering, Ready. Following the release of two mixtapes earlier this year—Genesis, which included music he recorded before his debut album, I Gotta Make It, and Anticipation, which helped occupy fans a couple of months before his new album was released—Trey Songz is letting the world know he’s ready.
His previous albums included a little baby-making music, but this album takes it to another level. Citing R. Kelly as an early influence when he first appeared on the scene and later calling him out for attempting to remain relevant to younger listeners on “D.O.K (Death of Kellz)”, Trey sounds a little like him on the album intro, appropriately titled “Panty Droppa”, and “Neighbors Know My Name”, a slow jam on which the 24-year-old reflects on his sexual prowess and what that means for the neighbors during his sexual exploits. The album continues with “I Invented Sex”, again reiterating what he said before but this time with Drake on the track. Teaming up again with Stargate who produced “Can’t Help But Wait” (his most successful single yet) on “I Need a Girl” was genius as they delivered another hit which also served as the album’s lead single. Here, the album shows another side of Trey as he contemplates commitment and carries it over to the rock-tinged ballad “One Love”, produced by Brian Michael Cox. But he’s not done with sex just yet.
On “Does He Do It”, in standard, repetitive Sean Garrett form, Trey asks his lady if her other man does it like he does it. Fabolous joins the party on “Say Aah”, a catchy, upbeat track, which is either a spin off or ripoff of Jamie Foxx’s hit, “Blame It (On the Alcohol)”. With Gucci Mane and Soulja Boy on “LOL ”, this cheesy and irrelevant track definitely doesn’t fit as the flow of the album is completely disrupted.
After that’s out the way, it’s time for love, as Trey coos on the smooth, mellow “Ready to Make Luv” which prefaces “Jupiter Love”, another song of the same caliber as Trey breaks it down over a sultry song perfect for setting the mood. “Be Where You Are” is an uptempo, experimental production by Christopher Henderson. Preceding Drake’s hit single, “Successful” is an interesting spot for it, though, since Trey declares he wants the money, cars, clothes and hoes. It’s even more interesting that this was even included, although this version tosses Lil Wayne’s verse aside and throws an extra verse in from Trey.
The last few songs bring about yet another side of Trey. “Black Roses” represents “a dying love” and a new sound for Trey, produced by Bei Maejor. On “Love Lost”, Trey laments that, “I never loved you like I should” with his heart on his sleeve as he pleads, “And now I see the man you need / When I look into the mirror I see change / Then I close my eyes and wish you could see the same / But it’s too late.” “Yo Side of the Bed” closes the album with Trey helplessly stating that he “doesn’t want to sleep if you’re not there” with its amazing guitar rift, reminiscent of a Prince/”Purple Rain” vibe.
Trimming the fat with a few select tracks on Ready (notably “LOL ”, “Say Aah” and “Successful”) would make this one of the best R&B albums of the year. It’s for that reason that although Trey may be ready and is heading in the right direction, he still has a little bit farther to go.
My Picks: “Neighbors Know My Name”, “I Invented Sex”, “I Need a Girl”, “Does He Do It”, “Jupiter Love”, “Black Roses”, “Yo Side of the Bed”
Make sure you pick up your copy of Trey’s Ready in stores or online today.