I actually wrote this review for the Grammy University Network back when Passion, Pain & Pleasure dropped- about a month ago. But my recent adventures with my right hand woman, Sydni, have made me anticipate seeing Trey Songz at Usher’s OMG tour with her. Not to be mistaken, we are far from Trey Songz fanatics (one of our past times is to impersonate him, although no one can beat this guy ), but I understand his appeal and I can rock with some of his songs. Nevertheless, my album review is below. Enjoy!

Passion, Pain & Pleasure opens with an instrumental introduction, “Here We Go Again.” This album, like many others that released this year, is mixed so that it literally flows together – there are no pauses between songs, making it even easier to play the album all the way through.  Songz wastes no time and jumps headfirst into the “babymaker” songs that he has become infamous for. “Love Faces,” “Massage,” and “Alone” (the instrumental of which sounds eerily like  “Every Girl” by Young Money) all revolve around one particular topic, and with lyrics such as “Lose the panties and the bra, I’ma start with a massage,” Songz does not leave much to the imagination.

Halfway through the album, and Passion, Pain & Pleasure seems more like a second of edition of Ready, particularly “Bottoms Up,” the lead single from the album which is seemigly modeled after Songz’s Top 10 hit, “Say Ahh.” While catchy and very fitting for the club atmosphere, “Bottoms Up” is essentially yet another song about drinking (with yet another obnoxious verse from Nicki Minaj, when will it ever end?).

After the “Pain” interlude, however, Passion, Pain & Pleasure takes a turn for the better. The album’s second single, “Can’t Be Friends” is just what audiences would expect of a Johnta Austin production, a catchy slow jam that kicks off what I have deemed Songz’s “begging portion” of the album. After “Can’t Be Friends” comes “Please Return My Call,” which is pleading at his best. Songz clearly wants this woman to return his phone calls more than Anthony Hamilton wanted “Charlene” back and makes John Legend’s pleas for “Maxine” look elementary. Jokes aside, “Made to Be Together” is by far the best track on this album, a danceable slow song, Songz puts his typically dramatic vocals on the back burner and provides audiences with a clear-cut, honest performance. While I kid about the “begging portion,” the “Pain” portion of the album displays a mature side to Songz’s music, proving that he is able and willing to sing about something other than the physical aspect of romantic relationships.

Things begin to pick up during the “Pleasure” segment of the album. Songz begins this part of the album by stating “They say all I sing about it sex right?” and then begins the sexually driven song, “Red Lipstick.” Here, Songz clearly embodies the principle of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” “Unusual” features Songz’s partner-in-crime, Drake, and provides an upbeat alternative to the “Passion” section of the album. Songz ends the album with “Blind” and “You Just Need Me,” two songs that venture into the “electro” hip-hop and R&B genre that has experienced increasing popularity within urban music throughout the past few years.

The concept of Passion, Pain & Pleasure is brilliant, fans can play an entire section of the album dependant on their mood, instead of having to single out a particular song. This album is exactly what audiences expected of Songz (although one or two more club bangers could not have hurt, as Songz may have alienated some of his male fans with all of the slow love songs), and while such an album is nowhere near disappointing, I hope that Songz will exceed our expectations on his next LP.

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