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TGJ Replay: Trey Songz – ‘Ready’

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trey songz thatgrapejuice TGJ Replay:  Trey Songz   Ready

Say hello to TGJ Replay!

Designed much like our ‘Retro Rewind’ and ‘From the Vault’ features, ‘Replay’ is That Grape Juice‘s newest retrospective segment – a written quest, if you will, to re-spin the gems and jams of yesterday.

Unlike its ‘Rewind’ and ‘Vault’ predecessors, ‘Replay’ looks to dust off and showcase entire albums (and eras) from a library of pop and Urban pop music hits.  Our latest reflective piece will ode birthday boy Trey Songz!

Today, as he hits the big 3-0, learn more about the album that made the Virginia-born beau a household name.  Are you ready?….

trey songz thatgrapejuice1 TGJ Replay:  Trey Songz   Ready

By mid-2007, singer/songwriter  Trey Songz (born Tremaine Neverson) was quickly on his way down “run of the R&B mill” road.  Indeed, while watching the likes of fellow Virginia-born beau Chris Brown rise to the heights of fame via his rhythmic-tinged offerings, Songz, on the other hand, saw moderate success with his debut album ‘I Gotta Make It’ (2005) and was poised to see the same with its 2007 follow-up.

After its lead single ‘Wonder Woman’ left many wondering where to find it on charts, the set’s parent album ‘Trey Day’ was pushed back and, in turn, pushed Songz back to the drawing board.  The wait for release was short-lived, however, as the positive response to ‘Day’s next single, ‘Can’t Help But Wait,’ finally unlocked the mainstream success he’d so long been unable to access.

Helping boost the album to its #11 debut, the road from commercial irrelevance was quickly finding itself in his rearview.  Little did fans know, they were simply getting prepared for what the R&B maestro was getting ready to serve up.

Enter ‘I Need A Girl’

Two years after his first taste of mainstream success with ‘Can’t Help But Wait,’ Trey tried for a redo with serial hitmaker Stargate via ‘I Need a Girl’ – the lead single from his soon-to-be-delivered third album.  But, much like his previous set, the lead single would dominate R&B charts while seeing moderate success on the Billboard Hot 100 and would be forced to pushback from June to September. Undeterred, Songz thought to give fans a “preview” of his forthcoming material aboard the aptly titled mixtape ‘Anticipation.’

The risky move, in conjunction with the day’s top Urban producers and songwriters (Bryan Michael Cox, Stargate, Johnta Austin, and more), a revamped/maturer image with haircut and hypersexualized lyrics to boot, and some timely features (see: Drake‘s ‘Successful’), would prove just the catapult needed to recapture the mainstream success that constantly seemed to elude him.

On the hems of ‘Anticipation’ and Songz swiftly rising social stardom, his third album ‘Ready’ (released August 31) debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 with 131,000 sold.  The numbers would finally welcome Trey to the table of mainstream notoriety, a feat all the more impressive given its release in a musical climate that was quickly unwelcoming R&B/rhythmic numbers in favor of electronic dance music.


By the time the album’s fourth official single was released, Songz had proven himself a bonafide hitmaker as each of the set’s releases was performing better than its predecessor.  ‘I Invented Sex,’ ‘Ready’s third single, gave him his first chart-topper on the R&B charts while its follow-up, ‘Say Aah,’ saw the Hot 100 finally open wide to welcome tenancy to him.

  • ‘I Need a Girl’ (peak – #5 on R&B charts, #59 on Hot 100)
  • ‘LOL Smiley Face’ – (peak – #12 on R&B charts, #51 on Hot 100) *note: no official music video
  • ‘I Invented Sex’ – (peak – #1 on R&B charts, #42 on Hot 100)
  • ‘Say Aah’ – (peak – #3 on R&B charts, #9 on Hot 1oo)


‘Ready’s final two releases, ‘Neighbors Know My Name’ and ‘Your Side of the Bed,’ may have not reached the heights of their sister singles from the same set, but the former would ring itself true in ways beyond what its content alluded.  ‘Ready’ demonstrated that Trey was truly ready to enjoy mainstream success and become R&B’s leading crooner.

treyposin TGJ Replay:  Trey Songz   Ready

Admittedly, we give Trey a hard time here at TGJ and it is partially due to the success of ‘Ready.’  Yes, the album is by far our favorite offering from the R&B beau as it encompassed his ability to balance his newfound hypersexuality with songs of substance (see:  ‘Your Side of the Bed’).  But, the works that followed ‘Ready’ simply exploited and were over-saturated with what Trey thought was a key to success – sex.  We can’t knock what works for him, but what we can do is challenge him to take his years of continued success and apply some level of artistic maturity that doesn’t have to mention sex at every hook and corner.

Time will tell if he ever hears our request.  Until, we’ll just continue to bump ‘I Invented Sex’ – our fave from ‘Ready.’ What’s yours?

 


Your thoughts?

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12 Comments

  1. November 27, 2014 at 12:21 pm
    Sherry says:
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    Ready is Treys BEST album!!! You can listen all the way through without skipping a track. His hew album is pretty good also, but Ready is a classic. My favorite non-single track is “Love Lost”. All of the singles from this era were GREAT!

    • November 27, 2014 at 12:36 pm
      coolness says:
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      Yeah, Love Lost is amazing! I don’t want to reach but the production reminded me of MJ’s Human Nature, lol. I agree with Rashad that although this album gave him mainstream recognition, it made Trey notice that serving s*x could really take him far. Hence, him becoming rather complacent on follow-up albums, Passion, Pain and Pleasure and Chapter V. His new album is solid though and his best since Ready.

  2. November 27, 2014 at 12:45 pm
    Dossome says:
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    I thought TGJ Replay was about rediscovering classics,something this album is not
    *plays 12Play*

    • November 27, 2014 at 4:13 pm
      JOHNVIDAL says:
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      LOL That´s why I was so pleased the other day when they did it with a true classic and an artist they normally don´t cover, Faith by George Michael. Seriously these people need to listen to more genres and better music, some of the most average things out there are treated like classics in this blog :)

      • November 27, 2014 at 9:09 pm
        Shrug King caesar says:
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        So just becUse an album didn’t break records or was iconic that doesn’t make it worth covering?

      • November 28, 2014 at 5:54 am
        JOHNVIDAL says:
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        Can´t you get it? He said this is supposed to cover CLASSICS. Obviously nothing released by this guy is classic or slightly interesting-game changing. It can be ok if you want.

  3. November 27, 2014 at 12:46 pm
    Danielle Crowder says:
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    This album deserved a GRAMMY!!! Every single track was a bop!! “Say Ahh” is my favorite Trey song everrrrrr!!!!

  4. November 27, 2014 at 1:42 pm
    DanYiel Teflon says:
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    This album was a PLAY STRAIGHT THROUGH GET UP & GO!!

  5. November 27, 2014 at 2:49 pm
    Stephy Tha Lambily says:
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    Yassss! @Sherry girl me & you have the same taste in music. This is very much so his BEST album. The ONLY album I purchased from him too. His other albums I listened to on Youtube were ummmmmmmmm yeah… I LOVE “Jupiter Love” !!!
    -

  6. November 27, 2014 at 3:22 pm
    AmbeRussell says:
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    When this album came out, I used to listen to the radio a lot at work and trey, fab and drake were DOMINATING power 105.1 (a NYC hip hop rnb station). He really was far more versatile this go around, far not laid back and not as cocky or arragant and less goat sounding than on the albums after.
    Current trey has showed a big head version of himself, lost his r Kelly like voice (check out his trapped in the closet remix) and just became a trendy rnb singer. He went for s**, neyo (who came out the same time) went for euro/dance (whiched for the song “closer”) and Chris did techno dance and less soulfull rnb and hip hop elements for fast hits. With that being said, I feel this album was his blurred lines abd he never recovered from the hype, even though white America still doesn’t ignores him at the awards, besides for presenting.

  7. November 28, 2014 at 1:26 pm
    Dossome says:
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    LOL :-),NEIGHBOURS KNOW MY NAME,PANTY DROPPA,I INVENTED s**,SAY AAH…really???Dumbest song titles i’ve ever seen from one tracklist.Again,this album is no classic,nothing about him is..moving along

  8. November 28, 2014 at 1:27 pm
    Dossome says:
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    @JohnVidal
    LOL :-),NEIGHBOURS KNOW MY NAME,PANTY DROPPA,I INVENTED s**,SAY AAH…really???Dumbest song titles i’ve ever seen from one tracklist.Again,this album is no classic,nothing about him is..moving along

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