I don't like it – mostly because wishing the vocals weren't run through Pro Tools prevents me from thinking much of anything else – but I don't hate it like so much music made by millennial black artists. Which is truly an accomplishment.
There is no other young black artist who still engenders as much goodwill despite not having a hit song in nearly a decade as she does. People really want her to succeed again.
And it looks like Brandy wants to get it right this time too.
Of course, all the black music blogs are focusing on that “I really feel like this is my last chance” remark because it naturally leads one to question whether or not that goodwill everyone has for her might run out if the new album disappoints. I get that, though I think it’s not really the right question.
Trey Songz deepened his image and his work beautifully with his latest album. This brilliant unreleased track produced by the great Salaam Remi – who is basically the best producer making black pop right now that no one is really paying attention to – from those sessions probably wouldn’t have really fit on the album, sonically or lyrically. It, in the lyrics, returns Songz to a more juvenile and disturbing view of a woman’s sexual pleasure that is deeply problematic and totally at odds with the more restrained and thoughtful work on Passion Pain & Pleasure.
But beyond that it is definitely in the spirit of what has been most interesting about Trey Songz – his increasing willingness to experiment with different sounds without coming across schizophrenic or like he’s a cynical “throw everything at the wall and see if it sticks” kind of artist.