His melodies dribble and curl like syrup. The beats are immediate but firmly at a distance, a mere frame to Trey Songz's luxuriant, oversexed vocals. Songz is an R&B traditionalist with a voice like an angel in heat: Think The Weeknd meets Drake, all filtered through Boyz II Men. More velvety seduction than blissed-out vamp, Songz eschews the stone-eyed advances of R&B’s recent dark period for a throwback approach as cool and light-footed as meringue. The hip-hop and R&B hybrid style so en vogue at the moment has also found its way into Songz’ latest tracks. Still, despite his flirtation with modern production cues, Songz remains a purist in overall form. For every trappy slap, there’s a slow jam piano loop; for every pitched-up, auto-tuned backing vocal, there’s a buttery lead vocal come-on. Songz is fresh off his latest full-length, Tremaine The Album. On the cover, he leers at the camera, unbuttoned shirt thrown open by an undetectable breeze. Like his artwork, Songz embraces the ooey-gooey performative-ness that has made R&B so well-fitted to both clubs and house parties. And like his artwork, Songz isn’t afraid to indulge in the corny and the cliche as long as the end result is alluring and convincing.
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