Whenever Trey Songz decides to hang up the mic, he will go down as one of the most successful singers of his era. I feel like for my generation, he broke down barriers, ushering in a style of R&B music that meshed pretty well with trendy hip hop. At the age of 34, I still think he has a couple of good years left in him, and with the release of “11/28,” a double-disc/star-studded project, it seems music execs and his peers think so, too.
Though Trey Songz has mastered making explosive club hits, you have to appreciate his ability to create soulful music, too; one of my favorite on this project is “Drugz.” On it, Trey pretty much gets on his knees, pleading to have this bad ass chick’s body from dusk to dawn. I love how Trigga Trey gets lost in the emotional instrumental he was served with, practically sounding like he’s getting stabbed, dragged and stoned while he’s singing. S**t, If her body is that good, we may need to use it as a trading piece for international relations.
4. HOW DAT SOUND
Trigga Trey gets back to his despicable ways on “How Dat Sound.”
There was once a time Trey Songz dropped a new club hit every year. Unfortunately, these last couple of years, he hasn’t been as lucky. However, things may have changed today, because with “How Dat Sound,” the Virginia-born singer was able to gift us with this brash/unapologetic/raunchy/high-octane banger that I can certainly see blowing up. Not only does it feature this explosive hook and instrumental, but Trey and featured guests Yo Gotti and 2 Chainz were also able to let loose on their respective verses, giving us something just as reckless as it is catchy. I personally like reckless and catchy for all three of these guys.
3. BODY HIGH
There are a couple of reasons I enjoy “Body High:” For one, it’s lawless, featuring no real structure, and secondly, it straddles the line between rap and R&B masterfully. Aside from that, I really enjoy the instrumental’s dark tone, as it does a good job of provoking both Trey Songz and featured guest Swae Lee to go through the motions on their respective contributions. At times, both artists’ high-pitched singing might have you cringing, but when you are talking about being in love like these two dudes are, it comes out ugly sometimes.
Everyone knew that “28” was going to be the album that had all the hits, and from the moment you press play on it, that belief is put into fruition. “Spark” is energetic, has a great bop to it, and boasts this charming vibe that Trey used to excel utilizing back in the day.
Don’t you love how both Trey Songz and featured guest Jacquees use this hop scotch-like flow to talk about how fine their women are on this song? It makes the act of courting feel like some jump rope s**t.
1. SHOOTIN’ SHOTS
“Shootin’ Shots” is one of the better R&B records you will hear this year. Trigga Trey calls on Tory Lanez, Ty Dolla $ign and HitMaka for assistance on it, and together, they gift us with this smooth/melodic banger that has each of them wooing our women with their money and sex appeal. Interestingly enough, everyone keeps the same energy as the other on their respective verses, making for a very cohesive effort.
Do you realize that R&B n***as should never catch L’s when it comes to getting women?
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. DRUGZ (4.5/5)
2. LAY YO HEAD (4/5)
3. SOLID (4/5)
4. CLOSED MOUTH (4/5)
5. KEEP IT RIGHT THERE (3.5/5)
6. REFLECTION (3.5/5)
7. WHO LET U DOWN (4.5/5)
8. LET ME KNOW (4/5)
9. ATTITUDE (3/5)
10. SHOOTIN’ SHOTS (5/5)
1. SPARK (5/5)
2. HOW DAT SOUND (4.5/5)
3. BODY HIGH (4.5/5)
4. WRIST WATCH (3.5/5)
5. AUTOMATIC (3.5/5)
6. PLEASE DON’T CRY (4/5)
7. TOP 10 (4/5)
8. ROTATION (3.5/5)
9. USED TO (4.5/5)
10. DON’T SAY S**T (4/5)
Jesus, 20 tracks of Trey Songz is a damn lot! Then again, he never lets up in passion when he makes music, so 11/28 won’t quite feel like work listening to it. Additionally, the album is split down the middle when it comes to soulful and hip hop music, which means Trey never allows you to get comfortable with a particular sound (Especially if you listen to both on shuffle).
Interestingly enough, 11/28 had a s**tload of features (Especially “28”), despite the fact that I feel like Trey is one of the few artists that has a high success rate making music by his lonesome. Then again, I’ve noticed a trend of R&B artists linking up with major players in the rap game to gain clout. Anyway, I enjoyed contributions from the R&B cats like Jacquees, Tory Lanez, Ty Dolla $ign and Swae Lee, as they brought a different type of passion to their respective songs. On the other end, I could’ve done without OT Genasis, Shy Glizzy and Rich The Kid.
You know what’s funny? I was listening to Trey Songz first album (Gotta Make It) the other day, and I was amazed at how much his sound has evolved. In the beginning, he was making old school soul music, sounding like a 75 year old man in a 21 year old’s body. As time went on, his music has matured, and so has his subject-matters, swagger and voice. He no longer seems tamed or held back, meaning he has slowly become one of those veteran acts that was fortunate enough to go on a journey before settling on a specific sound. In my opinion, 11/28 is a culmination of that journey, as it literally features every single style Songz has been good at throughout the years. Some sounds may excite you, some may frustrate you, and some may have you reminiscing to your college days when you were still trying to figure out relationships (Assuming you are my age). If you are just learning about Trey, you will enjoy this album for its melodies, unapologetic approaches to sex and love, and its many exhilarating club bangers. All in all, Trey put on a show on 11/28, making it impossible to hate.