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Soundbites review: Trey Songz: Chapter V

He’s not the most charismatic of RB stars, but Trey Songz’s eye and ear for detail keeps him firmly in the game

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Trey Songz is returning this summer with new album "Chapter V," and with "Heart Attack," fans have received a first look.

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.

In a less expected move, Songz also makes moves into traditional R Kelly territory: cartoon sex delivered with a totally straight face on Panty Wetter, elemental sincerity complete with a middle eight of grandiose vocals on Without a Woman.

It all helps to reinforce Songz’s status as the formidable understudy ofRB.