Tremaine is the album I’ve been Waiting For
We get to see a little more of Tremaine vs. Trey
It all started early in the AM when Trey Songz decided to troll my life on Twitter. In a conversation with my brother about liking the new music he was releasing, here’s what ensued when I didn’t realize I kept him in the reply and assumed he would NEVER see it. LOL:
It was quite amusing actually as my mentions filled up with comments from avid Trey Songz fans about how I was sleeping and troll talk, troll talk, troll talk. What was even more amusing was that I’m actually a fan myself, but probably seemed like a hater in that moment. The reality is — I guess it was a backhanded compliment, but I was trying to give praise to the new music.
I distinctly remember blasting “Just Gotta Make it” in my blue Ford Contour, which was my first car when I was 18. I LOVED that album. And even cooler than that, at the time I was interning at what used to be 100.3 The Beat, a Radio-One station in Philadelphia at the time. I remember seeing promo flyers in the studio room signed by Chris Brown and being like “who the hell is this?” lol. And apparently the DJs the flyers were made out to felt the same way because they littered the desk well after he was gone. He went on to do pretty well for himself outside of the whole ridiculous, violent behavior he exhibits.
The other thing I remember was Trey Songz promoting his album “I Gotta Make It.” He was in Philly at the station a lot it felt like and the 18-year-old girl in me was of course fawning over the cute kid with the braids with the song I liked.
“Shawty, all I got is a dolla and a dream is you gon’ roll with me?”
I’m sure most of our answers at the time would have been yes. And how many of us didn’t feel that same sentiment of simply wanting to make it? It resonated. Although “I Gotta Make It” and “Trey Day” wouldn’t be the albums that created the commercial success that the label may have wanted, I think they stuck for girls like me. Lots of girls like me.
Then Trey buffed up a bit from the scrawny kid from VA, cut the braids and it was game over. The biddies were out, everyone was in love and he dropped what could probably be considered his first smash hit “Say Ahh.” He donned himself “Mr. Steal Your Girl” and dropped songs like “Invented Sex” and “Neighbors Know My Name.”
That album was dope to me. And even more dope than that was the live show which I did see twice at both Tower in Philly and at Wells Fargo with Usher when I actually had the chance to meet Trey. He’s definitely even more charming up close and personal. NONETHELESS, everything after that unfortunately lost me.
“Tremaine the Album” though, felt like what the girls who grew up with Trey have been waiting for.
There were a host of albums in between and once I researched, I guess I understand how much more jacked up my comment was. I was practically discrediting a lot of his work. But I felt like the projects after “Ready” were chasing “Ready” acclaim. And “Trigga” was certified platinum but just felt so overly raunchy to me.
As a now 30-year-old woman, “Tremaine” finally feels like the man Trey Songz is speaking to me. Just like the young Trey Songz was speaking to that 18-year-old girl. I’m old and married now so that appeal of the guy that just takes down everything in sight is so uninteresting to me. No I am not looking for PG Trey or for Trey to be in love. But the conflict presented in the new album is a lot more satisfying. Songs like “Playboy” and “Games We Play” featuring MIKExANGEL give you just a little more insight into the various sides of the persona of Trey Songz. And I say persona because, I surely don’t know this man. But listening to some recent interviews, it’s less of the polished up Trey who is seemingly letting us in a bit more as the consumers.
The project was a pleasant surprise, starting off with the fake reality dating show that had fans split down the middle was crafty marketing. I myself was like “Nooooo, Trey don’t do it!” Only to find that it was a farce and promotion for all the new records were dropping alongside the visuals.
He maintains his classic R&B sound infused with hip-hop. But I also hear the stretching in songs like the ethereal, reverbed “What Are We Here For” and the cinematic “Break From Love.” I’d love to even see Trey continue to stretch sonically but of course staying true to his roots because I believe in that. I believe that R&B music is alive and well even as it changes and grows.
I also love that he worked with Rico Love on songs like “#1 Fan” because Rico is a phenomenal songwriter and producer. I always feel that his songs have great perspective and that record is dope to think about the perspective of such a highly sought out sex symbol being nervous about that expectation.
“Tremaine” has a nice vibe; it feels sexy still without it being sooo in your face and clearly showcases a little more vulnerability.
What started as a back-handed compliment was really meant to say, I’m excited again. Not to discredit the other works but to say that I am glad that this feels like music where I can understand the sentiments. To the music that connects to me just like hearing “I Gotta Make It” for the first time.
Being a fan doesn’t mean blindly liking everything that someone does. Not for me at least. But I’ll always be rooting for Trey. He’s one of those artists that I grew up with and hope continues to make music for a long time to come. But we all grow up and I just get excited when the art is reflective of that reality.
But I’ll let you be the judge.