Tag Archives: pop song

Trey Songz: Versatility Is the Name of the Game

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.

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Beautiful Arrangement

I kind of love this song:

 

 

Or rather, I love how this song is produced. The song itself is standard lightweight boyband schlock. But damn if it isn't beautifully done, standard lightweight boyband schlock. 

This is a perfect example of how you make use of multiple voices singing in harmony (not this, if you remember). The vocal arrangement gives you simply more to latch onto and it alone sells the song. When you hear Oritsé adlib "and more!" over the backgrounds with Aston on top (I think it is Aston), it creates the exact right emotion.  It's insistent, but understated. 

I actually think that it is much harder to do these kinds of songs well because they are written in a way that really only requires an overabundance of earnestness (and pretty faces) from the vocalists since the song is already overwrought*. But, to their credit, the producers of this song really tried to make the best use of the four voices in the group** and pushed them to give much stronger vocal performances than they've given before. 

Oritsé, in particular, does terrific work here, turning in the only emotive performance of the four.

 

*Another example: Brandy's understated performance of the treacly Diane Warren song, "Have You Ever."  She simply flat out refuses to go for the "big dramatic moments" in that song. That is why it worked.

**Honestly, Oritsé and Aston are really the only truly capable vocalists in the group, so you have to really appreciate what is accomplished here.