Passion, Pain & Pleasure is the fourth studio album by American R&B recording artist Trey Songz, released on September 14, 2010. It is the follow-up to his commercial breakthrough Ready (2009). Production for the album took place during March to July 2010 and was handled by several record producers, including his mentor Troy Taylor, Bryan-Michael Cox, Stargate, and Mario Winans, among others.
The album debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 240,000 copies in its first week. It has produced two singles, including "Can't Be Friends" and Billboard hit "Bottoms Up". It later became certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for shipments exceeding 500,000 copies in the US. Upon its release, Passion, Pain & Pleasure received positive reviews from most music critics. Songz promoted the album via his Summer 2010 tour with R&B singer Monica.
The album's lead single "Bottoms Up", featuring Nicki Minaj, was released on July 27, 2010. Its video was filmed on July 31, 2010 and was released Tuesday, August 17 on BET. It has reached number two on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and at number six on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. "Can't Be Friends" the album's second single, produced by Mario Winans, was released on September 28, 2010. The song contains a sample of composer Ryuichi Sakamoto's "Bibo no Aozora" from the score of 2006 drama film Babel. It charted at number one on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and at number 43 on the Billboard Hot 100. Its video was filmed in early August 2010 and was released on September 7, 2010. "Love Faces" and "Unusual" featuring Drake were released as the third and fourth singles respectively.
Album tracks "Love Faces" and "Doorbell" leaked to the Internet in August 2010. On his Ustream.tv channel, Songz expressed his feelings regarding the leaks, stating "Shout out to everybody who didn't listen to the leaks. Bootleggers gotta eat. I ain't mad at y'all boys". In his response, Songz also premiered the track "Massage", a boudior-oriented slow jam about giving a lover a head-to-toe massage that he performs on tour with giving a selected audience member a massage onstage.
The album debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 240,000 copies. In its second week, it dropped to number seven on the chart and sold 66,000 copies. The album remained at number seven and sold 42,000 copies in its third week. It fell two spots to number nine on the chart and sold 32,000 copies in its fourth week. The album has currently sold 823,000 copies in the United States. It was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for shipments exceeding 500,000 copies in the US. Passion, Pain & Pleasure debuted at number 32 on Canada's Top 100 Albums chart. In France, the album entered at number 138 on the Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique's albums chart.
Passion, Pain & Pleasure received positive reviews from most music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 71, based on five reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".Allmusic writer Andy Kellman gave it four out of five stars and complimented its second half as "the strongest, most varied side of a Trey Songz album, just about flawless. It smoothly shifts through several moods".BBC Online's Mike Diver praised the album's "in-depth descriptions of how our protagonist is going to pleasure his other half" and noted Songz's performance as a strength, stating "The skill is in the execution, in the articulation – and Trey is well studied and blessed with some wonderfully smooth vocals". Sean Fennessey of The Washington Post wrote that the album "is softer and subtler than 'Ready '. There are more ballads here -- and fewer 'panty-droppers' and 'baby-makers'. Instead, Trey is making 'Love Faces' at his girl, or growing reflective, and occasionally maudlin, as on 'Can't Be Friends'". Tyler Lewis of PopMatters commented that "Songz rides the tonal and rhythmic shifts with impressive agility" and commended "a clearly rejuvenated songwriting team of Troy Taylor, Edrick Miles, Tony Scales, and Songz himself, who in various combinations wrote the lyrics and melodies to nearly every song here".
In contrast, Rolling Stone writer Will Hermes gave the album two out of five stars and stated "it's just steady mackin' over dull, airbrushed slow-jams". Andrew Murfett of The Sydney Morning Herald expressed a negative response towards its sexual content and stated "Little, if anything, is left to the imagination here".Los Angeles Times writer August Brown viewed that Songz "lacks an especially charismatic voice", but complimented its musical quality and wrote that the album "leaves you like a perfect one night stand — you don’t have to remember the person, just the way he or she made you feel".About.com's Mark Edward Nero stated "this album's musical and vocal quality are consistently good from track to track" and concluded "despite the few miscues, this is clearly Trey's most consistent album yet".USA Today 's Steve Jones gave the album three out of four stars and stated "his consistent passion makes listening a pleasure".