Trey Songz - Ready (2009)

Trey Songz
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Musically modeling himself after R. Kelly's macho, overtly sexual swagger, Trey Songz has morphed into the next frontier for hands-on, graphic R&B. Gone away are the tender lyrics of sweet adorned love under the romantic moonlight. It's all about those inner erotic urges of the moment. Three albums into his craft, on Ready Songz comfortably defines himself with the "hook-up" bedroom mantra of Gen Z. He may still have teen appeal, but his "panty-dropping" intro is relatively close to gaining a Parental Advisory sticker. "Neighbors Know My Name," with its assimilated sounds from the Mr. Biggs collection, rambles about the wall-knocking action from last night's bump and grind session. Though he's millimeters shy from being branded a Pretty Ricky convert, he still rescues the album from being labeled another soft porn odyssey. "I Need a Girl," "Jupiter Love" and the pop-angled "One Love" are noteworthy for their warm radio-ready vibes.
Musically modeling himself after R. Kelly's macho, overtly sexual swagger, Trey Songz has morphed into the next frontier for hands-on, graphic R&B. Gone away are the tender lyrics of sweet adorned love under the romantic moonlight. It's all about those inner erotic urges of the moment. Three albums into his craft, on Ready Songz comfortably defines himself with the "hook-up" bedroom mantra of Gen Z. He may still have teen appeal, but his "panty-dropping" intro is relatively close to gaining a Parental Advisory sticker. "Neighbors Know My Name," with its assimilated sounds from the Mr. Biggs collection, rambles about the wall-knocking action from last night's bump and grind session. Though he's millimeters shy from being branded a Pretty Ricky convert, he still rescues the album from being labeled another soft porn odyssey. "I Need a Girl," "Jupiter Love" and the pop-angled "One Love" are noteworthy for their warm radio-ready vibes. Even his lusty expose on "I Invented Sex" garners its share of fanfare for its brave, believable performance and ego-driven lyricism. But even the unforgivable mentions of "LOL :-) (Smiley Face)," haunted by a Fisher-Price melody, a Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em pair-up and a cringing lyric on phone sexting, uncover a disastrous pattern in Songz' need for childlike experiments. As a project, Ready is ultimately as close to a memorable one-night stand as Songz has ever gotten. But, everyone knows sex and foreplay isn't good without at least a little romance. Shame Ready didn't get the memo.

Notable tracks: "I Need a Girl," "One Love," "I Invented Sex," "Neighbors Know My Name"

Vocals: 2.5 stars
Lyrics: 2.0 stars
Music: 3.0 stars
Production: 3.0 stars
SoulTracks Call: Recommended


By J. Matthew Cobb
 

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