I must admit, I wasn’t exactly excited about Trey Songz‘ third album Ready. However, after seeing the anticipated video for “Successful” featuring Drake [watch below] I was willing to give it a go; having dodged his mixtapes for so long. Now having listened, I realise why so many people were waiting for this album. As emphasised in the title of this album and in the songs, I feel he is vocally and lyrically more ‘ready’ as this album shows a more confident and even sexier Trey Songz…

The R Kelly comparisons are rife and it’s clear to see that he has been influenced by him – at least vocally as well as in some of his lyrics. The album begins with a smooth “Panty Droppa” intro leading into the seductive “Neighbours Know My Name.” Brian Michael Cox lends his suave production to slow jam “One Love,” then Trey switches the tempo up on “Does He Do.”

In step the rappers as Fabolous blesses the mic on “Say Aah” and Souljah Boy and Gucci Mane contribute a strange collaboration to “LOL” (which I think, personally, should have been on the mixtape). On a brighter note, Drake features twice on the album; with “Successful” [watch the video below] and the Stargate-produced “I Invented Sex.”

“Ready To Make Luv” is a short but enticing interlude which would have been an excellent full-length song but mood-setter “Jupiter Love” compensates for that. Towards the end of the album, “Holla If Ya Need Me” and “Yo Side Of The Bed” really bring out Treys vocal talents. Portraying a lot of emotion, these songs show how just much his vocals have improved.

Ultimately, even those who aren’t fans of Trey Songz will be impressed by this album. Described by Drake as ,“The greatest R&B singer of our generation,” with his new look, improved sound and a sense of increased confidence, Trey Songz is on his way to earning the title.

Ready is out now on Songbook/Atlantic Records.

Trey Songz performs tonight in the Bronx, New York at the College of Mount St. Vincent.

Diana Achieng – Ayok