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Trey Songz: Anticipation 3

At the end of last December, videos surfaced of Trey Songz destroying a stage at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit during a mini-temper tantrum. The event staff who prevented Trigga from performing past the venue’s 11:30 pm curfew presented him a golden opportunity for free promo—the smirk on the singer’s mugshot, which went viral, all but announced “new music is dropping soon.” Sure enough, Trey Songz and his frequent collaborator, Fabolous, surprised fans with their joint EP Trappy New Years on New Year’s Eve.  Eleven days later (and fittingly on a “hump day” Wednesday), the singer released the third installment of his sexually charged Anticipation mix-tape series.

Interestingly, Anticipation 3 is a collaborative effort, not a solo turn. Although the cover highlights Trey mid-performance, roaring and ripped, (possibly a screengrab from the Joe Louis Arena incident???), the smaller print reads “FEAT. MIKE X ANGEL.” But Mike x Angel, Trey Songz’s latest protegé, is more than just a featured act:  he’s on eight of the 11 tracks. The singer is Virginia’s answer to Toronto’s Tory Lanez, with hints of R&B cult fave Pleasure P from Pretty Ricky. Trey’s guest opens up the mixtape on the slow, loopy jaunt “A3” promising “party favors, party favors.” 

With the assistance of his pupil, Trey Songz delivers on his usual dimpled-grin bedroom talk, but this time around he’s consistently upstaged by other featured guests. New York’s Justine Darcenne breathes new life into Anticipation 3 as the female antagonist of “Find My Love,” and the frank voice on the excellent “Vibrator.” “Vibrator” also includes a great turn by Chicago rapper Chisanity, whose sounds like a deeper-voiced 21 Savage crossed with “Atlanta’s” fictional character Paper Boi. On the other hand, “93 Unleaded” could have worked without Dave East, whose bars and flow overwhelm the simplistic beat. 

Like Trigga, Anticipation 3 dabbles with trap&b atmospherics, a la Bryson Tiller’s TRAPSOUL. But Trey’s voice is a little too powerful to blend into the background of the wispy production, and he is too much of an old-school star to disappear from the foreground for long. The best is saved for last: “Sho Nuff,” a slow jam suited for the “Quiet Storm” segments of late-night urban radio.  The electric guitar chords and eager hook of “is you still my baby, she say sho’ you right” is Trey at his freshest, throwing all the way back to the vibe of his 2005 debut I Gotta Make It.

Surprisingly enough, the other show stealer comes from Mike x Angel on closing bonus track, “Anxious.” Trey Songz is nowhere to be found as Angel tenderly asks a lover “What are we doing? What should I call this?”. Instead, we’re held to anticipate new music from an up and coming talent, wondering if this could be a sign of an Aaron Hall being usurped by his Kellz. Only time will tell, but based on recent events, it seems highly unlikely Trigga would allow that to become a reality.

SOURCE: Album Reviews – Pitchfork – Read entire story here.


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