Clearly I told you last week that the record labels were playing like the weather is playing here in California. Who told these people that it was okay to release two albums a day early because of the "hype"? For everyone's melodramatic sake (my own) at least I'm hyped about Whitney Houston and Trey Songz debuting this week.
Trey Songz has been a contemporary favorite of mine since his debut in 2004. Out of his peers (Mario, Chris Brown, Marques Houston) Trey is the soul of the bunch. After watching the BET awards over the weekend, I was again reminded of Trey's talent as he sang along side Johnny Gill and Tyrese. Trey has a great amount of vocal control with the ability to effectively deliver a piercing, resonating tone that draws you into his lyrics. If you're not familiar with Trey's work, now is the time to get involved, especially if you are in love, want to be in love and enjoy sex. "Ready" his 3rd disc via Atlantic starts off letting you know that he is ready to fuck the dog shit out of you - and there is nothing wrong with that either, especially since Trey is making it clear, it's not about sex - it's about love.
His lead single, "I need a girl" a mid-tempo rich ballad in which Trey tells you exactly what he is looking for. I appreciate artists who are honest and sincere about what they interpret and deliver lyrically. In the song Trey puts his heart on the line and is vulnerable with his audience, something that he and Mario have in common. And Trey makes it okay for a young man in 2009 to have feelings and want to be in love, especially since his presence and image is almost hyper-masculine.
I love Trey's delivery factor. He really knows how to make you feel and believe what he is telling you, in my opinion Trey is the new face of R&B and he definitely is the underdog in the game, hopefully with this disc people will pay attention to what he is giving. If it were not for he and Mario new R&B would have no face. There are few male contemporary singers that really leave a lasting impression or mark with an era. While people may say Usher (clearly he was a product of last decade) or Chris Brown maybe Ne-Yo (our modern day Babyface) Trey Songz clearly needs to be at the top of this decades list of R&B male singers.
Production wise - his sound is current and has the perfect feel of what makes R&B, R&B. Although he has a couple of appearances by rappers (Drake, Fabolous & Gucci Mane) it doesn't interrupt the flow of the CD. What I appreciate about Trey is his ability to keep the integrity of R&B music by paying homage to greats. On "Yo Side Of The Bed" he channels his inner Prince during the "Purple Rain" era and does more than pull it off, it would make anyone who grew up in that era an instant fan of Trey and would remind them of what good music used to be like.
The disc an ultimate play through is perfect for the lover in all of us. "Ready," is the soothing summer sunset that will melt us right to the perfect cuddling weather of the fall and winter.
Standout Tacks: I need a girl, I Invented Sex, Neighbors Know My Name, Love Lost, Does He Do It.
I've always maintained that Whitney would comeback singing from the uterus in which Bobbi Kristina came forth, but this is not a comeback, this is a statement. A statement of Whitney's tenacity, a statement of her talent, her artistry and her ultimate ability to allow her music to speak for itself. I am so glad that Whitney put together an album that FEELS like Whitney. I have not "felt" Whitney on a project since her best (in my opinion) album, "I'm Your Baby Tonight", 19 years ago. WHITNEY IS HERE BITCH! I am so glad to see Whitney.
Quite honestly I wasn't sure what to expect from this CD, in fact I don't think anyone was. But it's what you should expect from an artist who has broken records, set trends, worked with the best producers, weathered the storms of life and has been in the business 25 years. For some artists (Janet, Madonna, Mariah, etc) who have that LEGEND status, what else can you do? You can do what Whitney did. Return back to your roots and sing about love and the things that you've been through on an honest and genuine level. It always works and your true intentions always come across. Whitney believes in this project and once you hear it, you'll understand what I'm talking about
Again, being honest, I wasn't expecting Whitney to sound like she did 25 years ago. Lets be frank, Whitney has not sounded "great" since 1990 at the top of her career. If you listen closely, she hasn't hit a top note since 1992 - and everything has been lowered since 1995 when she did "Waiting To Exhale" the recordings are there, I urge you to listen. This is no slight to Whitney. Whitney is the greatest voice of all time. And considering what she did, the songs that she's sang and singing those songs live around the world in all kind of conditions is going to wear your voice naturally. Look at what has happened to Mariah in a 10 year period. WHITNEY IS THE VOICE PERIOD. AND SHE STILL HAS IT.
She no LONGER has to SING songs in which she is belting a note to sound good or PROVE SOMETHING. It makes sense for Whitney to take a refined approach. She's a mid 40's woman, she can kick back and still sound good. She doesn't have to keep up with the current market, artist's like Whitney set the market's tone. And for those who think she can't sing "I Will Always Love You," in it's originality...I laugh at you in your face! She's done it before and she will do it again.
This is the perfect album for Whitney - it has success written all over it. Her drive and focus to make this project is apparent lyrically and vocally. She and Clive got great writers that have the ability to tap into the Whitney that we're all use to: graceful, majestic, stunning and captivating. They pull it off, seamlessly. My only complaint was Akon and "convict" coming across the fucking track. Akon, find out how old you are and sit down somewhere. How dare he brand A WHITNEY HOUSTON TRACK with that trash, Clive should have stepped away from the Menorah for a moment and told him "NO!"
Sidebar: Whitney on Oprah, is SHE GONNA KEEP IT BLACK GIRL HOOD? And how bad do we want to see Whitney on WENDY!!! Remember Wendy said in the infamous interview "Maybe one day Whitney, I'll have my own T.V. show." Whitney, "Have your answering machine call hers" and get it poppin. Gone ahead and make good on that "100 million dollar" bill and do some 1985 numbers on that ass!
"I Look To You" a complete play through from start to end in celebration of the classic Whitney in a 2009 world.
Standout Tracks: Million Dollar Bill, Salute, For The Lovers, I Didn't Know My Own Strength, Call You Tonight.