x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Album Review: Trey Songz doesn't change what works on Chapter V

The Virginia-born vocalist's output is all about creating a mood, via his seemingly effortless range of high notes and harmonies.

Trey Songz
Chapter V
(Atlantic)
•••

It becomes apparent early in Chapter V that Trey Songz could sing pretty much anything and still keep his mighty audience content. The Virginia-born vocalist's output is all about creating a mood, via his seemingly effortless range of high notes and harmonies. What he actually sings is very much secondary to the tone in which he sings it, which does lead to an odd juxtaposition of angelic voice and mirth-inducing subject matter, on occasion. The pool-based imagery of Dive In becomes increasingly strained: "Swim for days," he croons, "like a doggy paddle all kinds of ways." Fumble's earnestly sung chorus employs an awkward sporting metaphor: "It's not your fault, that I fumbled your heart." And Without a Woman both laments and perhaps explains why the narrator is suddenly single. "Picture this," he insists, "coming home from a hard day's work - no food is there!" There are hints of experimentation - Simply Amazing adds rock drums and guitar to quicken the pace, while Interlude 4 U is a nod to the thoughtful soul of the early 1970s. However, Chapter V remains more smoothly rounded than cutting-edge. Well, why change a profitable formula?

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