Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Post Rock Archive  |  About the Bloggers  |  E-mail: Click Track  |  On Twitter: Click Track  |  RSS Feeds RSS

Album review: Trey Songz, "Passion, Pain and Pleasure"

trey songzTrey Songz: More balladry, less bawdy. (Kyle Gustafson/FTWP)

By Sean Fennessey

There is something unusually Broadway about the 25-year-old Virginia-bred singer Trey Songz. The mode he works in - sex-obsessed, hi-tempo R&B - is utterly masculine, but his voice has a bright, quavering quality that recalls sturdy female performers like Judy Garland and Bernadette Peters. He sings, and often raps, quickly and with deep melodic gifts. This is no slight - being the most theatrical of all modern R&B singers has served him well. His fourth album - with the Sondheimian title "Passion, Pain & Pleasure" - doesn't have the unbridled mania of last year's breakthrough, "Ready," which found Trey alerting neighbors to his bedroom exploits and inspiring lovers to consider the notion that he had, in fact, "invented sex."

But "Passion" is softer and subtler than "Ready." There are more ballads here - and fewer "panty-droppers" and "baby-makers." Instead, Trey is making "Love Faces" at his girl, or growing reflective, and occasionally maudlin, as on "Can't Be Friends." Though his near-yodel has slowed, it has hardly disappeared. "Pain (Interlude)" is practically a paean to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" - this is highly unlikely loverman music. But when Trey does indulge his libertine desires and penchant for puttin' on a show, as on the gleeful, kinetic "Bottoms Up," he is trumped by an even more eccentric performer.

Nicki Minaj supplies a brilliant extended cameo on the song, and as she has on nearly all of her guest appearances this year, changes tempo, tone and persona in thrilling flashes. She is an even truer spotlight hog. And just like that, a headliner is pushed back into the chorus line.

Recommended tracks: "Love Faces," "Bottom's Up"

By Click Track  |  September 14, 2010; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Quick spins  | Tags: Trey Songz  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Album review: Grinderman, "Grinderman 2"
Next: Singles file: Belle & Sebastian f. Carey Mulligan, Pollyn f. Freddie Gibbs, Houses

No comments have been posted to this entry.

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

characters remaining

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company