Trey Songz sheds ‘good boy’ image on new album

Brittany Epps

Trey Songz’s much-anticipated album, “Passion, Pain & Pleasure,” reveals a new, mature, multi-faceted artist, reaffirming his title as one of the best male R&B singers of this day and age. 

Finally finding his niche by crossing back and forth between the hip-hop and R&B genres, Trey has formed a winning combination of integrating R&B, rap and soul in an approach that caters to a wide variety of audiences. 

His latest album heightens his appeal, as he sheds his good-boy image and enters into the daring role of the “grown and sexy.” 

Trey Songz’s career officially began in 2004, with his debut single, “Gotta Make It,” which gained popularity among the R&B community, but failed to garner attention among mainstream music listeners. 

Shortly after, Trey Songz began releasing and collaborating on singles that gained recognition among both R&B and mainstream communities, in songs such as “Gotta Go” and “Girl Tonite” from rapper Twista’s fifth album. In 2007, Trey Songz caught the attention of audiences worldwide, when he released his second album, “Trey Day.”

 Seeking to become a more mainstream artist, Trey Songz adjusted his sound and began performing songs to which a wider variety of listeners could relate. 

When the singles “Can’t Help But Wait” and “Last Time” were released off his sophomore album, his efforts finally paid off — it reached the top of the charts, ultimately leading to nominations for Grammy and BET Awards. 

By the time his third album, “Ready,” hit stores in 2009, Trey Songz was revered as a successful male R&B artist, completely transforming his style into a sophisticated, smooth, R&B heartthrob. 

“Passion, Pain and Pleasure,” is expected to sell nearly 300,000 copies within the first week.

 At the age of 25, Trey Songz has experienced highs and lows in his personal life and his career, and he describes this album as his most personal to date. The album takes the form of a three-part saga, detailing his most daring, passionate and innermost personal thoughts.

It’s almost as if we are listening to an electronic audio diary, accompanying him as he narrates every pain-filled, felicitous moment in the story. 

It begins with a cheerful, entertaining list of songs, representing his pleasurable experiences. 

His single “Bottoms Up,” featuring eccentric rapper Nicki Minaj, is one of the many songs included in this portion of the album, boasting enduring and speedy lyrics, combined with an upbeat tempo. 

The album then takes a more melancholy tone, as he segues into the painful tales of heartbreak. This portion is a story within itself, beginning with his second single “Can’t Be Friends,” then gradually pleading to his woman to “Return My Call” and declaring his undying love that they were “Made to Be Together.” 

Trey Songz introduces a more matured and soulful sound for the first time, as he incorporates a hint of neo-soul into songs, reminiscent of Maxwell and other classic R&B artists. “

Made to Be Together” begins with a poetic introduction, pouring his heart out while demonstrating superior vocal range, and adding an ironically high-tempo sound. It is his most heart-felt track yet, as his pain seeps through his lyrics, allowing listeners to hear every bit of agony in his voice.

 Finally, Trey Songz transitions into a more amorous and honest segment, with songs such as “Blind” and “You Just Need Me.” Overall, Trey Songz’s album demonstrates his versatility and maturation. 

It provides a closer look into his life that is not normally displayed among male artists, and he is unafraid to venture into a vulnerable territory with his audience. 

His ability to sing across multiple genres of music while constantly reinventing his sound makes him appealing to loyal fans who expect a contemporary yet traditional sound. 

Trey Songz’s album is a reminder that classic R&B, hip-hop and soul have not been lost bringing excitement toward the future of hip-hop and R&B music.