It's no secret that R&B has been slightly askew since the emergence of electronica music into the mainstream. Chris Brown, Ne-Yo and even Usher took advantage of the EDM wave and pushed aside the genre that made them stars. Trey Songz, on the other hand, has stayed true to his R&B roots, as seen on his last album "Passion, Pain, & Pleasure" and now "Chapter V."
Along the way he's gained a plethora of new fans and rocketed to international stardom, and with his shift to the mainstream, he's managed to stay true to the music he's always made. "Chapter V" shows more than the evolution of an artist -- it shows the evolution of a man.
"Chapter V" will take you to the club with "Hail Mary" with Young Jeezy and Lil Wayne as well as the Diddy and Meek Mill-assisted "Check Me Out," and then whisk you to the bedroom with the ballads "Dive In" and the appropriately titled "Panty Wetter." Unfortunately, Trey falls flat with "Playin Hard," because hearing him rap is way less desirable than listening to him sing. "2 Reasons" featuring T.I. was an attempt to recreate the magic of "Say Aah" and "Bottoms Up," but it is actually cringe-worthy, wooing women one minute and then referring to them as bitches the next. It's not all bad though: fans will be completely surprised and refreshed by all of the vulnerable sides of Trey in the songs "Pretty Girls Lie," "Bad Decisions," and the old school "Without A Woman."
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.
Check out our track-by-track review of Trey Songz' fifth studio album, "Chapter V."
"Chapter V": In the album's opening track, Trey Songz reintroduces himself as the reigning prince of R&B. Before you know it, seconds in, he tilts his crowd and lures one into the bedroom.
"Dive In": The third single is a how-to manual on just how to woo the object of one's affection. Take notes, fellas.
"Panty Wetter": In a quick turn of events, "Panty Wetter," turns making love (in "Dive In") into a game that displays his sexual dominance.
"Heart Attack": Though Trey Songz' eighth R&B/Hip-Hop Songs top 5, the singer's first single isn't the strongest on the album. The love lesson is too evident: love isn't enough to keep a happy home.
"Playin' Hard": Trey steps into Drake's lane on "Playin' Hard" as he emo-spits of letting his ego get in the way of a successful relationship.
"2 Reasons" feat. T.I.: Following a similar formula as "Say Aah" and "Bottoms Up," "2 Reasons" still disappoints as the crooner, goes from being a smooth operator to going to the club for, er, "bitches and drinks."
"Hail Mary" feat. Young Jeezy & Lil Wayne: For being the last track to make the "Chapter V" cut, "Hail Mary" impresses. Trey, Jeezy, and Weezy effortlessly vibe while keeping the countless football analogies related to sex entertaining.
"Don't Be Scared" feat. Rick Ross: Cue the confessional part of the album. On "Don't Be Scared," Trey admits to doing his fair share of bed-hopping still asks his lover to ignore the advice of her friends and just swing his way.
"Pretty Girls Lie": "Pretty Girls Lie" is a lesson in why you can't judge a book by its cover. A pretty face doesn't always mean that there's a trusting heart ready to love.
"Bad Decisions": Taking blame for the demise of a relationship can be tough, but Trey fearlessly explores his wrong-doing in "Bad Decisions."
"Forever Yours": There's something particularly haunting and seductive about "Forever Yours." Coupled with Trey's slightly airy vocals, he sings sex through your speakers and will melt female listeners completely.
"Inside Interlewd": In no more than 1:41 minutes, Trey's NSFW lyricism manages to leave you yearning for more.
"Fumble": Picking up where "Bad Decisions" leaves off, Trey continues to beat himself up for not being man enough to fight temptation and ultimately save his relationship.
"Without A Woman": For the lovers of old school R&B, this track is for you (especially the song's bridge). "Without A Woman," in which Trey's vocal capabilities shine the brightest, captures Trey's belief that every Adam needs and Eve.
"Interlude 4 U": This is simply about having someone's back through thick and thin. Sounds like a mini-ode to Trey's Angels.
"Simply Amazing": Imagine if Shania Twain and the Backstreet Boys birthed a mainstream ballad. "Simply Amazing" would be it. Though the Max Martin-scribed song is different for the R&B singer, Trey's seductive vocals bring a warm welcome into the pop realm.
"Never Again": Trey dips his feet into pop, yet again, with "Never Again." The song carries a nostalgic feel courtesy of the "Seven Years" sample, performed by The Impressions, written by Curtis Mayfield.
"Check Me Out" feat. Diddy and Meek Mill: "Check Me Out" sounds like a long-lost track that was left on the cutting room floor of Diddy-Dirty Money's "Last Train To Paris." The track is sure to find a home on the Billboard charts and bang through club speakers.