Trey Songz

Tremaine the Album

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"The hoes keep callin'" Trey Songz on the third album the R&B singer, songwriter, and swinger has titled after himself. On his seventh album, the successor to 2014's Billboard 200-topping, platinum-certified Trigga, Songz serves up another hour-length program in which a stream of slinking, hyper-libidinous slow jams is interrupted by the occasional romantic ballad and uptempo club track. Stylistically, little differentiates it from the markedly superior Trigga, though longtime mentor Troy Taylor is deeply involved again as a co-writer and producer. There are a couple significant instances of Songz revealing some humility. In the Rico Love-produced "#1 Fan," he cops to worrying about fulfilling the sexual expectations of a die-hard listener. Such is the hazard of being the guy who recorded "I Invented Sex." "Picture Picture" likewise shows vulnerability, with Mr. Steal Your Girl expressing seething envy rather than humorous bluster. Still, the prevailing mode is stock ladykiller tales like "Playboy," "She Lovin It," and "Animal" (the latter is the better of two pop-oriented Cirkut/Dr. Luke collaborations), and it's too bad that a vocalist of such considerable caliber has yet to outgrow a reliance upon them. There's no disproving that Songz is still in his element, though, frequently enthused as ever about taking full advantage of what is at his disposal, even as he relates the multitude of ways in which his conflicted ego's tripping out. It's somewhat telling that the most ridiculous picture in the album's booklet is not the one that shows him buried beneath a pile of swooning admirers, but the one that catches him alone, seated on an upscale ottoman, looking rather mystified, thinking...who knows what? Maybe "What is this feeling?," or about the shoot's end and the resumption of standard indulgences that have been on pause for a few mind-numbing moments.

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