Stay Tru

Artist: Pastor TroyTitle: Stay TruRating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Paine

Since his mildly publicized feud with Master P five years ago, Pastor Troy has been an Atlanta workaholic, yet still without the level of notoriety of his peers. On the heels of some new exposure via Chamillionaire’s “Southern Takeover,” Troy drops his seemingly mandatory yearly installment in Stay Tru (845/SMC). The album counters the collaborative and friendly spirit of the recent South, staying true to Troy’s previous work.

The artist, with no guests, maintains his image as a quarrelsome figure of the world on “Me Actin’ Up” and “Well Uh Huh.” On the latter, Troy declares that he is the king of the adlib. Apparently Lil’ Jon, Diddy, and Mike Jones are disqualified from Troy’s thinking? Whatever the reason for the outlandish claim, the screaming chorus comes across as an overt plea for radio attention. “Get Down or Lay Down” uses a similar formula, though Troy brings a more palpable frustration to those verses. “Attitude Adjuster” is one of the better offerings on Stay Tru. The gun-toting anthem is simple with its four-bar structure. However, there’s something enjoyable about the energy created on the song. With records like “Lyin’ ‘Bout Her Crib” and “Polos & Lacoste,” Pastor Troy’s variable for a stronger than others album lies in the beats that back him.

While he worked alone vocally, Troy has been watching who’s who in production in 2005. Drummaboy and Shawty Redd from Jeezy’s album were brought in to do some of the beats, as well as Cooley C of Youngbloodz fame. All provide Troy with his sharper tracks, especially Drummaboy’s "Off in This Game", which certainly bares resemblance to “Standing Ovation.” With better-than-filler music provided by P No and Troy himself, Stay Tru leans on a Crunk backbone. The album does not venture to newer trends, but rather, plays loud, plays raspy, and plays to the emotions in the darker corner of an egoist mind.

Pastor Troy will forever be hard-pressed to outdo the excitement of Face Off. Stay Tru doesn’t improve the perception that Pastor Troy is a scatterbrained writer and baits his bars for beef. However, the effort to come about the project on his own, as well as a decision to welcome fledging Southern producers to the project was a strong one. Musically, this is Troy’s best work to date. This album won’t elevate Troy’s status to the echelon that’s shrugged him off for his whole career, but it will advance his role as a defiant veteran of the “underground” Collipark community.