Trey Songz’s new album Tremaine is the kind of R&B that just isn’t given its chance to shine in mainstream anymore.
He had me hooked from the prelude. I usually end up skipping preludes, but this is one I’ll be listening to on repeat and memorizing the lyrics to because it’s just as strong as my favorites on the album (which I’ll list below).
I’ll confess that, although I listened to Trey fairly often during his early years, his newest album wasn’t on my radar. Somehow, I ended up watching his interview from earlier this year on The Breakfast Club. Trey talked about everything from his romantic life to his music, and I just had a feeling that this album was going to be interesting. In a more recent interview with them, he said that this was his most personal album to date, and that’s when I knew I had to hear it.
I started by watching the five-video series he released for “Nobody Else But You,” “Playboy,” “Song Goes Off,” “She Lovin It,” and “Animal.” Excessive half-nakedness aside, I really appreciate music videos that tell stories.
Trey has never denied his playboy lifestyle although, like the rest of his private life, he does keep it on the low. He strips a little of the veneer away from that lifestyle with this album and these videos. To the people who think that fame leads to the perfect life, he’s encouraging you to look at that from a different perspective, but also making it clear that he doesn’t really care whether or not you understand. It’s all for him, for his art and his pursuit of authenticity in a life that can be full of illusions.
I remember being 16, one of my best friends said "mane you better stop with all that wishing and dreaming, you not gon make it outta here mane! We from the Burg hahahaha no way" The younger me was upset that he didn't believe in me. The man I am today knows that it's not me he didn't believe in, it was himself and he projected that upon me. He'd seen so much failure & acceptance of mediocrity, that chasing dreams could never be real. I thank him for those words. I vowed to myself I would show him. Throughout my career I vowed the same to those that didn't believe in me. It was fuel! My father was never there and my stepfather doesn't deserve a mention. Fuel. My mothers sacrifices & some of her own dreams going out the window, the 🐭 in the house, The fish sticks, the syrup sandwiches and her making sure she had a job to feed us all the time. Fuel. BELIEVE IN YOU! Success is a crazy road, highs lows and many turns. I'm proud to say I've lasted this long. Overall I'm a very happy person but sometimes I'm angry…sometimes I'm sad…sometimes I'm wrong but I'm me, all the time AND I'm human all the time. 12 years in and I go hard like day 1. TREMAINE THE ALBUM
Some people will listen to Tremaine and not be able to see past the profanity or this idea that R&B these days is “too” sexual. And in that case, the album just isn’t for you.
Here’s my verdict. Real and raw seem harder to find in music nowadays. Trey communicates both of those with Tremaine, the toss-up between self-awareness and ego in the lyrics, and it’s fantastic. I can feel the catharsis on this album. He’s staying true to himself and that comes through clearly in the music.
- Come Over
- Nobody Else But You
- The Sheets…Still
- Song Goes Off
- She Lovin It
- Games We Play
- Break From Love
“BELIEVE IN YOU! Success is a crazy road, highs lows and many turns. Overall I’m a very happy person but sometimes I’m angry…sometimes I’m sad…sometimes I’m wrong but I’m me, all the time AND I’m human all the time. 12 years in and I go hard like day 1. TREMAINE THE ALBUM.”
– Trey Songz