Trey Songz, Tremaine the Album | Album Review
For Trey Songz, sex remains his best friend on his seventh studio album, ‘Tremaine the Album.’ Once more, the bedroom serves as fuel for the fire.
After a three-year hiatus, Trey Songz returns with his seventh studio album, Tremaine The Album. Interestingly, the R&B standout delivered an aggressive promo campaign for Tremaine, issuing five singles along with a music video for each. It’s a smart strategy, considering the fact that R&B hasn’t exactly igniting the charts on fire. Trey Songz continues to use sex to his advantage, erecting himself as the new R. Kelly of sorts. Tremaine ultimately ends up being another successful album, as he continues to make sensual matters compelling listening.
“The Prelude” opens Tremaine lushly, yet nebulously. Reflective, “The Prelude” isn’t a particularly distinct statement, defined more by its sound and vibe. Interestingly, if the listener isn’t tuned in, they might miss the beginning of “Come Over,” which segues directly from “The Prelude.” “Come Over” is Trey Songz through and through – backing vocals, smooth lead, and romantically-driven sound. The record percolates on the chorus and the bridge.
“#1Fan” is ridiculous. Trey is concerned about his performance with a groupie!
“Having sex with my number one fan / So why am I so nervous?”
On the bridge, he expands on his anxiousness:
“You ready? / Will I live up to the man she sees? / Will I give her everything she needs? / I just hope that when we’re done she’s pleased / I hope it’s everything you thought it’d be.”
“#1Fan” is shallow to the nth degree. Call it what it is – ghetto!
“Nobody Else but You”
Trey Songz hangs up his “playa shoes” on “Nobody Else but You,” the first promo single from Tremaine. Well produced, “Nobody Else but You” features a sound palette of adult contemporary R&B and urban contemporary cues. Much like the song itself, it isn’t flashy, but incredibly consistent. Returning to the first point, Songz focuses on real love, eschewing his sexually promiscuous past. If nothing else, his newfound maturity deserves props.
“Even when I try and the hoes keep calling / why we in the club, why I’m always ballin’ / Tryna be in love, we don’t fall too often / It’s hard to, but still / I don’t want nobody else but you.”
On “Nobody Else but You,” Trey Songz seemed to be turning a corner. On “Playboy,” however, he can’t get past his playboy status. From the jump, he shares his shortcomings:
“…Still running ‘round tryin’ to lay up / Still f*cking but I wanna make love, I really want to / Don’t know why I’m still a playboy.”
On the verses, he provides details for his playboy problem. He’s quick to cite his conquests, remains guilty of those conquests, yet he genuinely wants to better himself… supposedly. Though “Playboy” lacks transcendence, vocally, Songz remains in his artistic lane.
“The Sheets…Still” clocks in at an ambitious six minutes in duration. Despite its length, the M.O. remains the same, evidenced by the sensual lyrics:
“I make your body pour, f*ck up the sheets / Pick you right off the floor, when we f*ck up the sheets.”
Essentially, the word that comes to mind to characterize “The Sheets…Still” – orgasm. As for the “…Still” portion of the song, the effect is the same.
“While your nails peeling back my flesh / And she still keeps scratching me up / digging in my skin once again, ooh / And she still keeps / She can’t stop, scratching me up.”
“Song Goes Off”
On “Song Goes Off,” Trey want to rekindle his love with an old flame, “before the song goes off.” Like the majority of Tremaine, the production work is slick, appealing to both adult R&B and urban contemporary bases. Songz continues to deliver ‘grade A’ vocals, painting himself to be the perfect match for his ex. On the second verse, he bluntly asks, “Who’s making love to you?” Sex continues to be a saturation point, yet that’s the expectation with a Trey Songz joint.
“She Lovin It”
“She Lovin It” was the fourth single issued ahead of Tremaine. Arguably, it’s the most infectious, thriving AGAIN off of Songz’s knack for singing about sex. Slightly different in sound from the previous singles, the use of acoustic guitar is a nice touch. Eventually, the guitar is supplanted by ripe urban contemporary cues – the standard. It doesn’t take much thought to figure out exactly what Trey’s girl is “lovin” – sex. He certainly keeps it 100:
“She said that she don’t wanna be f*cked / I said, ‘Why the hell are you sleeping naked?’ / She told me she ain’t ready, oh no / But that shy girl shit kinda overrated.”
On “Animal,” sex remains the motivation for Trey Songz. Playing true to its animalistic title, Trey offers no shortage of sensual metaphors, namely the reference to his anaconda – cue up Nicki Minaj, please. Even with his filthy mind working on overdrive, “Animal” isn’t overtly explicit…somehow. Still, he desires to “Get to your forbidden fruit” and “Turn the bed into a jungle.” Predictably, he delivers a reference to dogs and cats:
“I’m a dog, I’m a dog / I’m a eat that pussy cat.”
The groovy “1×1” is infectious, kicking up the tempo. On the chorus, Songz exuberantly sings:
“It’s 3 AM, I’m back for more / Just the two of us / Sets of clothes fall to the floor / One by one, one by one / One by one, we’re switching positions…”
On follow up “Priceless,” he returns to his chivalrous ways. In other words, he’s not worried about “switching positions.”
“‘Cause, girl, your love is priceless / One thing I can’t afford to lose / And even though I ball, I would trade it all / To keep you in my arms, baby.”
“What Are We Here For”
Trey sounds a lot like R. Kelly on “What Are We Here For,” in regards to his vocal tone. Another production standout, the use of piano, rhythmic percussion, and a touch of malicious low brass make this record fantastic ear candy. “Games We Play” featuring MikexAngel is a lush slow jam – smooth as butter throughout most of the track. Things grow edgier on Songz’s second and third verses, which are more rhythmic, profane, and embrace pop-rap sensibilities.
Penultimate record “Picture Perfect” returns to the idea of Trey Songz “saving” her from a questionable relationship.
“Is it really picture perfect? / Does that n*gga serve a purpose? / Is it really even working / ‘Cause underneath the surface, I can tell you’re hurting / Is it really picture perfect?”
Keeping love as the focus, on closer “Break from Love,” Trey “don’t want a break, I don’t want a break from us.”
Ultimately, Trey Songz delivers another successful R&B album. Tremaine the Album doesn’t offer anything “brand new” from the artist, but he continues to flex. Can Songz continue to build his career on nothing more than sex? Maybe or maybe not, but up until this point of his career, it’s boded well in his favor. Tremaine isn’t his best album, but the voice is still fantastic and the material is enjoyable more often than not.
Gems: “Nobody Else but You,” “Playboy,” “Song Goes Off,” “She Lovin It” & “Animal”