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Album Review

Trey Songz, 'Ready'

August 31, 2009

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R&B
Trey Songz Ready
Atlantic
ESSENTIAL “Be Where You Are’’

While many male modern R&B vocalists are moving to a more mature vibe, Trey Songz keeps the horndog-with-a-heart tradition alive with his third album, “Ready.’’ Of course, the 25-year-old is still young, so it’s fitting that he would cut a track like “I Invented Sex,’’ which shows more braggadocio than Ali in his prime. Sometimes, this can get unintentionally humorous as on “Neighbors Know My Name,’’ where he claims he makes his girlfriend scream so loudly his neighbors know his name. (Maybe they looked at the mailbox.) Songz has really developed as a vocalist since his debut, and he’s more elastic and uses his falsetto judiciously. He’s clearly got a sentimental streak, though, as heard on the winsome “I Need a Girl’’ and “Jupiter Love,’’ which will either send women into delight or a sugar coma. The disc seems built around two popping tracks, “Say Aah’’ (yes, as in “open up and’’) and “LOL :-),’’ with Gucci Mane and Soulja Boy Tell ’Em. Songz has made strides with each album; it’s too bad there aren’t more songs like “Be Where You Are,’’ a near-perfect slice of pop, or the beautifully sung “Love Lost.’’ Tracks like that show that he is indeed ready for the next step. (Out today) KEN CAPOBIANCO