Trey Songz's 'Chapter V': What The Critics Are Saying
The singer's fifth album receives mixed reviews, with some admiring his fidelity to R&B music while others are simply unimpressed.
R&B superstar Trey Songz released his fifth studio album Tuesday, titled Chapter V.
Most commonly known for emotional and raunchy love ballads, Songz’s new album is not much of a departure from his signature sound. The self proclaimed "panty dropper" mixes club hits and R&B tunes in his latest installment, staying true to the Trey Songz that fans know and love.
Here’s what the critics are saying about his latest release:
Taj Rani of Billboard says, “Trey Songz has evolved into a man that owns his experiences, his music, and his crown as the reigning prince of R&B. Chapter V remains true to Trey's sound, even with a fumble here and there, and gives you a deeper look at the man behind the music… Chapter V shows more than the evolution of an artist -- it shows the evolution of a man.”
USA Today agrees, writing, “Songz has a knack for revving up the libido with smooth pillow talk and sly suggestions, and he doesn’t disappoint here.”
However, The New York Times was not impressed by Songz’ supposed mimic of R. Kelly, saying, “for years Trey Songz has been squeezing into Mr. Kelly’s shadow, not a surprise for a man who, on his fifth album, Chapter V, spells interlude ‘interlewd.’ Trey Songz has never been as powerful a singer as Mr. Kelly, but he huffs and puffs convincingly, and his commitment to intimate detail mirrors Mr. Kelly’s; both men are happy to draw blueprints, giving big voice to small, sometimes odd details.”
Similarly, The Los Angeles Times notes, "'to please your body is my mission,' he promises over a humid slow-jam. Chapter V finds himself going about that business as determinedly as an infrantryman. Songz might be R&B's most single-minded star, with little of D'Angelo's private mysticism or R.Kelly's flair for the soap-operatic."
Sarah Godfrey of The Washington Post was also disappointed, writing, “he bridges the gap between sexless boy bands and unromantic raunchy singers, between young guys who sing shallow songs about strip clubs and old guys who sing heavy songs about their divorces.”
Kyle Kramer of RedEye appreciates Songz for being unlike his fellow R&B singers. "At a time when R. Kelly shores up his fan base with throwback albums, Usher takes his musical cues from Ibiza and Chris Brown persists in being an irreconcilable d-bag, Trey Songz represents modern R&B's de facto leading man.”