Over the course of his career, Trey Songz has pulled from R. Kelly’s vibrant blueprint dedicating his vocals content that quickly grabs the attention of most people between 19-35; women, sex, club antics and straight flexin’. Anticipated as an album to reach No. 1 on Billboard and sell between 80,000 to 90,000 copies (even without 50 Cent buying out all the copies in a Pittsburgh Best Buy on release day), the expectations of Trey Songz’ sixth studio LP Trigga run deep.
While Rihanna may have made the term catchy, Trey Songz flipped “Cake” into Trigga’s seductive intro. Serving as an ode to cunnilingus, Trey invites listeners to sample his favorite “flavors” of women; from red-velvet to vanilla icing, diving head first into the album – literally, which leads him to “touching” and “feeling.” Reuniting after the chart-topping single “Bottoms Up” from 2010′s Passion, Pain & Pleasure, Nicki Minaj and Trigga Trey team up for “Touchin, Lovin”, a synth-heavy single that plays the chorus from Notorious B.I.G. and R. Kelly’s “Fuck You Tonight.” While Trey Songz offers a gritty vocal aesthetic, Nicki Minaj steals the spotlight to deliver fiery bars while briefly showcasing her own vocal talents. Mila J also takes time to standout as something other than “Jhene Aiko’s older sister,” proving she can stand with Trey despite infidelity and insolence over the single “Disrespectful.”
The infectious club single “Na Na”, which samples Teena Marie’s “Ooh La La La,” as well as grabbing a hold of DJ Mustard’s standard snap production, delivers an effortlessly silky standout cut. It leads the way for “Foreign”, as well as the follow-up official remix with Justin Bieber, which marks another cross-border hit similar to Trey’s “Successful” with Drake. Switching up both the production and lyrics, Trey and Biebs embark on a worldwide journey chasing women.
Meanwhile, Juicy J joins Trigga to stay closer to home for local sexpedes over the Mike Will Made It-produced single, “Late Night.” Moving forward, the laid-back “All We Do” leaves a blank canvas for Trey to offer his vocal diversity, but it’s the falsetto-delivered chorus on “Smartphones” that reminds us that despite being a commercial viable product, his vocal range has always stood above the rest. He continues showing that range on the airy acoustic driven single, “Change Your Mind”, which nestles itself in-between the after-party anthems and hotel creep lusting. “Smartphones” and “Change Your Mind” also offer a glimpse at the more introspective and vulnerable side of Trey’s discography, one of which is heavily missed throughout Trigga.
Contextually, Trigga may adhere to every mainstream rule in pop-R&B, but it shows his hitmaking abilities are at veterans levels at his point. Filled with lust, desire and sexual journeys, Trey Songz reaches an expected level of mainstream success with Trigga, and while safe is always encouraged during sexual acts, perhaps Trey could’ve taken a few more risks with this album. Trey Songz has “invented sex”, given us “heart attacks” and taught us how to drink “bottoms up,” but perhaps the bonus cuts “Love Around The World,” “What’s Best For You,” and “I Know (I Can’t Get It Back)” offers insight to who Tremaine is, and may promise his own “I Believe I Can Fly” on his next album.—Erin Lowers