Loaded with slow jams rife with sexuality, "Chapter V" sees Trey Songz relying heavily on his fantastic singing ability, and establishes him as a mainstream musician and personality that is here for the long haul.
Trey Songz started off as a happy-go-lucky heartthrob, right from his debut single, âGotta Make Itâ, featuring Twista. His singles and videos have always been in keeping with the excitable conventions of contemporary R&B, for which R Kelly is widely seen as the stage-setter. His latest release, Chapter V, marks the long way that Neverson has come from spinning his own âIn The Closetâ response.
Far from penning claims like, âAll I got is a dollar and dreamâ, but following closely behind 2010âs Passion, Pain, & Pleasure. With âCanât Be Friendsâ and âAlready Takenâ as references, a listener can expect more of the same heart-felt powerhouse vocals and serious romantic content, just taken up a few notches pipes-wise. Granted, Chapter V on the whole does provide a track-to-track variety of sound. Dance breaks â2 Reasonsâ featuring T.I., the sure-fire hit âHail Maryâ featuring Lil Wayne and Young Jeezy, and âCheck Me Outâ with Meek Mill and Diddy, keep things fresh between longer smoother numbers, and may amount to Triggaâs earlier wishes for certain âdream collaborationsâ on his latest project.
Along with âPlayinâ Hard,â âCheck Me Outâ even features some spoken word runs from the âPanty Dropperâ himself, a rare occurrence mostly set aside since âWonder Womanâ failed to find chart topping acclaim. The full time crooner relies heavily on repetition through the verse, leaving Diddy, then Meek Mill, to carry out the heat, which they do readily. The female recording present in the mix by J-Kits keeps things on the subject of sex, the center stage for Songz that fans have come to expect.
The lyricism of Chapter V takes an even more explicit turn than the Trey Songz tracks like âI Invented Sexâ or âNeighbors Know My Nameâ that came before. While these songs are raunchy by suggestion, the new albumâs opener, âDive Inâ straddles that border between innuendo and full out sexual imagery. The Prince of Virginia starts things off from inside exactly where you think, and stays there for âPanty Wetterâ achieving yet another (redundant) alias.Â This is as dirty as it gets, although the slow jams marathon has only begun.
At the end of the day, this albumâs R&B highlights more than remind audiences that Trigga is the go-to guy for vocals on a track in this day and age. The classic sultry âWithout a Womanâ pitches Trey Songz as a kind of male answer to Alicia Keys. Those who can stomach the unapologetic softness of âPretty Girls Lieâ will find a melodic integrity that hits all the sweet spots into a climactic key change. The fairly vibe-able âDonât Be Scaredâ is party to brother Alex Neversonâs firm-handed foray into production. That said, many other slow songs remain dry, albeit catchy, like âHeart Attackâ, in which the vocals are vaguely reminiscent of Justin Timberlakeâs âThe End Of Timeâ.
âSimply Amazingâ could be a suitable alt name for the albumâ Treyâs voice certainly is, and the project relies largely on this simple fact. With fewer unique narratives and significantly increased singing chops, Chapter V may not be ground-stopping, but definitely pegs Trey Songz as a musician and mainstream personality here to stay.Â