Trey Songz's fifth album is his first to top the charts, and it makes sense: Chapter V is full of big ballads and bigger club beats that take dead aim at the pop mainstream. But Songz is at his best playing to his R&B base on songs like "Panty Wetter," when the Spanish-fly vapors fog up the ceiling mirror and he wraps his supple falsetto around lyrics like "Your panty-dropper has returned, and I'm goin' low." Listen to 'Chapter V': .
Not all of the developments on Trey Songz' fifth album are positive. The singer has never been too proud to release shamelessly crude club music, and "2 Reasons" manages to outdo earlier hits "Say Aah" and "Bottoms Up" to the point of being parody-proof. Forty seconds in, Trey proclaims "I only came for the bitches and the drinks," repeats the phrase over 20 times, and follows "Baby, get your glass up" with -- guess what -- "Baby, get your ass up." It's the pop-R&B equivalent of Gangstalicious' "I Got Shot" (which was a pointed spoof).
For an artist known for neither tabloid-courting antics nor natural charisma, Trey Songz's stickability in the higher echelons of R&B has been impressive. His fifth album covers most bases – syncopated club bangers (2 Reasons), melancholy playboy mopes (Playin' Hard), anthemic pop choruses (Simply Amazing), aqueous slow jams (the undulating Forever Yours and Pretty Girls Lie, on which the gorgeous arrangement just about counterbalances the dubious sentiments). Chapter V is admirably cohesive, thanks to Songz sticking mostly with one producer, Troy Taylor, throughout: Taylor's vocal arrangements in particular coax a lot of personality out of his artist.
Virginian singer mixes brazen sex chatter with revealing insights on album five. Natalie Shaw 2012 Trey Songz likes sex. He likes to embody its every sensation in his music by feeling each beat; he’s so close to the music that it pulsates through his vocal, frenzied. This has been clear since his debut, so by this fifth album it’s less of a revelatory position, more the hammering home of an established point.
TREY SONGZ “Chapter V” (Songbook/Atlantic) The poles of modern R&B are, roughly, R. Kelly and Usher, who have a preoccupation with sex in common but little else. Mr. Kelly, despite his constitutional lasciviousness, is a direct inheritor of the church’s inspired shouts, a channeler of outrageously deep sentiment and in easy command of his gift.