Tre O’Neal is an up and coming R&B singer from Denver, Colorado, who has been in the industry for about 8 months. Blessed with an early start, he has had the pleasure of singing the national anthem for the University of Colorado men’s basketball team vs UCLA. He’s gotten recognition from NBA players; Chauncey Billups and Jamal Crawford, as well as being mentioned by 24/7 Hip Hop News and played by multiple radio stations. “No Brakes” is Tre O’Neal’s second EP, after his 6 track debut “Quiet Transition”, and is available on all major digital download stores. You can probably count on one hand the number of artists who actually write, produce and arrange all or even most of their music these days. Most talented R&B singers will hook up with the hottest producers and writers to find themselves a hit. It’s almost guaranteed that if you look at the Billboard charts at any given time. This is not a knock against these singers, but more of an indication of how the R&B music industry has evolved.
Tre O’Neal also works with different producers. His latest EP features 4 talented creatives, in this sense. But I’m almost sure Tre writes his own songs. There is just too much honestly coming through the vocal tones and lyric sheets, throughout this recording. One of the best songs on the EP is “My Pain” (Prod By DannyEBTracks).
This is the type of track that gives some kind of clue about the personal songwriting. A power ballad with him harmonizing on the chorus. The way Tre croons with his silky smooth voice, he almost makes you feel the pain.
Another highlight is the opening track, “Old School Chevy”, where the writing is actually very good. Here, Tre O’Neal describes why he needs a Chevy in his life. It is a clever metaphor for a state of being at a given point in his life.
“Lost In My Ways” (Prod By Tone Jonez) blends a smooth hip-hop groove fueled by jazzy instruments. It’s pretty obvious Tre O’Neal knows the formula for making a successful EP. When you combine his smooth and soulful voice with a set full of groovy instrumentals, you have a great R&B recording.
As a vocalist, Tre O’Neal is nothing if not consistent: whether he’s in full-blown or moody mode, his soulful, silky cords always get the job done. So when he lays into the opening bars of “Say Baby” (Prod By VybeBeatz), you already know where he is going with it.
The track takes a deep, longing beat that pulses and throbs as Tre’s vocals soar above it all, crooning with a radiance that lingers. It’s clear Tre’s been dealing with a lot, and it’s clear he knows how to translate life’s unfortunate turns into some of life’s more compelling music. Because that must be the case for another EP standout – “Broken Hearted” Girl (Prod By Apollo V).
The music is classically styled – a smooth production, keys that float rather than fly, and a head-nod back-beat, with the words that suggest a man in full-blown emotional conflict. All-in-all “No Brakes” is the perfect toast to another classy, cohesive collection from R&B and soul’s smoothest underground disciple.
If you’re already a fan of Tre O’Neal; then you’ll love this project too. If you’re not that familiar with him, then put this on, sit back, and thoroughly enjoy!
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