Listen Up: Trey Songz, more
This week in music
By Steve Jones, Elysa Gardner, Jerry Shriver and Brian Mansfield, USA TODAYAugust 20, 2012
Songz has a knack for revving up the libido with smooth pillow talk and sly suggestions, and he doesn't disappoint here. As one of R&B's most reliable seducers, he's usually either hunting his next conquest, making his next conquest or bemoaning the one he lost. He handles the steamy ballads by himself but enlists rappers including Lil Wayne and Rick Ross for the club bangers.
On its third album, the Heavy continues to blend hard-rock and soul textures with both unabashed scruffiness and shameless grandiosity. The results can be endearing, especially when a sense of humor — or a shot of textural levity — is thrown into the mix. But over 10 tracks, this party can lag at times.
In the spirit of bipartisanship — look it up, kids — you should download this slapdash, liberal political screed along with Hank Williams Jr.'s latest juvenile Tea Party primer (Old School, New Rules) — and hit shuffle. Then see a chiropractor for whiplash. Better yet, can we adopt a measure that requires all would-be musical political pundits to study Guthrie, Seeger and Katharine Lee Bates/Samuel Ward before picking up a pen?
Ten-gallon Tennessean Lynch has a robust baritone that could set him apart from the latest stampede of young country acts. Unfortunately, his songs don't. With a debut full of tractors, trucks and pretty girls shaking it for boys in the parking lot, Lynch follows trends rather than setting some. Even the best tracks, like the single Cowboys and Angels, won't be enough to kick off a hat-act revival.
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