Overall Critique: Solid effort, you’re sure to have at least one favorite
Likes: “Neighbors Know My Name”, “Your Side of The Bed”, “I Invented Sex”, “Say Aah”, “Black Roses,” “Be Where You Are”
Dislikes: “LOL :)”, “I Need a Girl”
Trey Songz is an interesting case. At a time where R&B is lacking a lot of the things that made it a great genre, Trey is a sign of hope that the genre will get back on its feet. I believe he has the qualities and talent that prior (and better) R&B artists have. However, because he is a current artist, Trey runs the risk of not reaching his potential and sounding like every other mediocre kid on the block. On his 3rd album “Ready,” we see Trey ride the fence between R&B gold and mediocrity.
The album opens up with the intro, “Panty Droppa” and leads into the arousing “Neighbors Know My Name.” These two tracks are the 1st examples of Songz riding the “fence”, as “Panty Droppa” follows the pattern of today’s R&B: sex that lacks sensuality or romance. “Neighbors” is a little more intimate, has passionate and aggressive energy, and displays Trey’s vocal strength. This leads into “I Invented Sex,” which is a happy medium between the two spectrums. It talks about taking a stranger home, but the mesmerizing music production gives it the sound of a real “baby maker.” After reaching a happy medium, the album goes back to R&B mediocrity with “I Need a Girl”, which features the redundant production stylings of Stargate (ex. Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable” and Chris Brown’s “With You”). The next three tracks are a nice rebound, including the bouncy, fun and addictive “Say Aah.” Then, again, Songz returns to R&B trash with “LOL :).” The song is just lame, typical and provides a “WTH?” moment. “LOL’s” follow ups are nice. “Black Roses” is a little refreshing, as it is far from typical current R&B: it could easily be turned into a rock song. The song also has decent lyrics, using some interesting symbolism. “Love Lost” channels Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature” and makes a cool mentioning of Aerosmith’s “Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing”, but its forgettable and kind of boring. “Holla If Ya Need Me” has a nice sentiment, but it’s just as bland. “Your Side of the Bed” is a fantastic finish for the album, as it uses remnants of Prince’s “Purple Rain” and works well as a saddening break up song.
Overall, “Ready” is a solid record that will satisfy your need for decent R&B. Not every track is strong, but there are enough stand-out tracks for you to have at least one favorite. This album got my attention, as frustrated with R&B as I am right now, and it caused me to want to keep my eye on Trey Songz.