For this week’s Second Listen Sunday, I decided to visit the Buckeye State and pay homage to The Rude Boys. The Cleveland-based quartet consisted of Larry Marcus, Melvin Sephus, Edward Lee “Buddy” Banks, and Joe Little III. Initially breaking onto the scene in 1990 with the hits “Written All Over Your Face” and “Are You Lonely For Me” from their debut, they wasted no time returning to the studio.
Second Listen Sunday : Trey Lorenz
Luther Vandross, Tank, Gwen Stefani, and Whitney Houston are just some of the names who got their start singing background vocals for more successful singers who would later find success on their own. One name who often gets lost in the shuffle is Trey Lorenz.
Most known for his contribution to Carey’s cover of The Jackson 5 classic, “I’ll Be There,” Lorenz first encountered Mariah Carey while attending Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1990. At that time, he was part of an R&B band called Squeak & the Deep. During Carey’s first promotional tour, Lorenz provided support and began to build his professional career. The following year, Lorenz sang for Carey’s Emotions album.
Eventually scoring a deal of his, Lorenz would release his self-titled debut in the fall of 1992. The first single, “Someone To Hold,” was co-written with Carey and her long-time collaborator Walter Afanasief who also produced the track. Lorenz had already shown off his impressive vocal; range, so it was no surprise the label went with a ballad first.
“Someone To Hold” is a tribute to the power of true love. Lorenz’s voice captures the joy of companionship and celebrates the connection between two souls who have found peace and understanding in each other’s arms. Through sincere lyrics, it expresses gratitude for the strength of such a bond and celebrates how two hearts can make one complete unit. The chorus implies that having someone special to love brings perfect contentment while emphasizing the importance of cherishing each moment together. Ultimately, it sends a message of hope – that this kind of love can last forever.
For the second single, “Photograph Of Mary,” Lorenz linked up with producer Seth A. Swirsky. Trey’s go uptempo here for a bop about a man’s longing for his ex-girlfriend. The lyrics convey a strong emotional bond between the main characters, and the song’s overall theme is relatable to anyone who has undergone a similar experience. Unfortunately, the song has a more pop-oriented sound, which may have contributed to its lack of chart success, given the direction music was heading at the time.
The album’s final single was a cover of the timeless Commodores love song “Just To Be Close To You. ” Trey sings the song with ease and makes you believe his journey in life in search of true love and how the material things they valued before. Ironically though, the Soul Convention remix of the song is better, and that’s the vibe that Trey should have had more of on the album.
Trey has a capable voice and even wrote eight of the album’s songs. The problem with this project, though, was the production never matched the vocal range Lorenz posses. The uptempo tracks “Run Back To Me” and “Wipe All My Tears Away” are all poorly aged. The message song “Find A Way” needed some bars from an MC like Q-Tip and may have had some chart success. The other ballads on the CD are all decent, but had they gone to more popular singers, I’m sure they would be hits.
Nevertheless, Lorenz has one of the voices that can sing anything, and it’s a travesty he never got to work with top-tier producers.
Final Grade: B-
Trey Lorenz is available on all streaming platforms.
More reviews to explorer
Valentine’s Day 2024 may have come and gone, but I still plan to use highlight songs with the V-word for February’s Slow Jam Saturday. The artist I chose is a southern gentleman by the name of Lloyd. Initially breaking onto the scene as a member of the preteen-boy band N-Toon, Lloyd’s solo career kicked off in 2004 with the hit “Southside.”
As we continue to celebrate the month of love, I chose “Valentine by Ryan Leslie as the second song with the word valentine for February’s Slow Jam Saturday. Leslie broke into the music industry in 2003, writing hits for Beyoncé and New Edition. Leslie released the singles “The Way That U Move Girl” and “Used 2 Be” featuring Fabolous. However, his debut album was never officially released due to creative differences with his record label. In late 2007, Leslie finally broke through with the bop “Diamond Girl,” and his self-titled album would finally hit record stores on February 10, 2009. Leslie also succeeded with the follow-up singles “Addiction” and “How It Was Supposed to Be.” Surprisingly, though, Leslie didn’t drop “Valentine” as the fourth single, which would have timed perfectly with the album release date.