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Trey Songz

Chapter V |

R&B

While Usher, Ne-Yo and Chris Brown have been playing the field with pop and dance, Trey Songz has remained faithful to R&B-and the legion of female fans he has amassed from the genre. After the hit-making moves of 2009’s Ready and 2010’s Passion, Pain & Pleasure, he continues to demonstrate why he is one of the biggest soul studs today on Chapter V, his fifth album. The playbook is straight from the R. Kelly school: Salacious slow jams (“Panty Wetter”) are balanced by sensitive ballads (“Heart Attack”), with slick hip-hop bouncers (“2 Reasons” featuring T.I.) keeping up the street cred. It’s a familiar formula for Songz, but one that has staying power for most of 71 minutes. Back-to-back highlights “Pretty Girl’s Lie” and “Bad Decisions” find him equally adept at playing the victim and the (rueful) wrongdoer, respectively. He only really falters toward the end, when he flirts with pop on two love songs that don’t feel true to his heart.

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