Turn off the lights, put the cell phone on silent, and shed those Fall layers of clothing because Trey Songz is back with an LP that’s sure to get you cozying up to your significant other. While singles “Bottoms Up” featuring DXnext alum Nicki Minaj and “Can’t Be Friends” have already been tearing up the airwaves, Passion, Pain, and Pleasure provides listeners 15 more tracks of high quality, modern R&B tailored toward the mainstream palate.
Not shockingly, love is the subject matter of choice that is tackled by Mr. Songz. Between the ode to the perfect girl, to the freaky casual sex encounters, to the painful breakups, he manages to sing at least one or two song to which nearly anyone will be able to relate their own personal situation. He utilizes the title of the album as an organizational tool of sorts, as interludes named by the three elements of the title act as introductions to the direction that the following tracks will take.
While the irritating-yet-radio-friendly “Bottoms Up” is among the handful of tracks that start out the album (alongside the freaky standout “Love Faces”), the album really takes shape once the “Pain” interlude kicks in. In this chapter of the LP lies the undeniably good, Mario Winans-produced “Can’t Be Friends,” where Trey’s vocals shine as he sings with a pain in his voice that is perfectly matched by what the lyrics are attempting to illustrate. Before one knows it, “Made to be Together” dramatically sneaks up on the listener, and suddenly the “Pleasure” part of things kicks into gear.
The “Pleasure” portion of the album contains the other notable feature, in the form of the Drake-assisted “Unusual” , produced by Noah “40” Shebib. Drake and Trey decide to brainstorm unusual ways to get it poppin with a lady on the track, as Drake muses, “Why you laughin out loud? / I’m serious, bring your girl if you a little bi-curious, please, please no storytelling to others, I promise you gon’ love it I would never let you down / Feel like I might have perfected all the things that you expected, you gon’ know it when you bring your ass around.”
Trey decides to end things off with the “Passion” chapter of his musical tale, where the aforementioned Noah Shebib’s production shines once again on the standout “Unfortunate.” Slow and mellow, yet dramatic and captivating, the song details the girl who left and isn’t getting treated right by her new man.
As Passion, Pain, and Pleasure comes to a close, it’s apparent that the LP was a successful effort from Trey Songz, even despite a few slow points such as the borderline corny “Doorbell” and “Please Return My Call.” As long as his breed of R&B is a person’s sound of choice in general, the album will not disappoint.