Yuna
Chapters


3.0
good

Review

by Irving Tan STAFF
May 22nd, 2016 | 11 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: We're on different lanes, chasing different things.

Yuna’s career arc has been characterized by sudden, exponential growth. The Malaysian was still a relative unknown on MySpace (remember that one?) as recently as 2011, but after being picked up by New York indie-pop label Fader she moved stateside where she quickly benefitted from bigger markets and more appreciative audiences. By the time her sophomore record Nocturnal appeared in late 2013, she had already shared the Lollapalooza stage with Florence + the Machine, Childish Gambino, and The Jezabels and collaborated with the likes of Mike Einziger and Pharrell Williams. Chapters, Yuna's third full-length, sees the Malaysian singer-songwriter completing her transformation from indie-folk troubadour to urban RnB auteur. Nocturnal had already started to gravitate towards the realm of alt-soul, with songs like “Falling” and “Mountains” trading in understated and mellow dynamics that were more about mood than anything else. But while Chapters is clearly engineered to feel more sophisticated than those Nocturnal cuts, the results are decidedly less stimulating. The moody, monochromatic template that songs like “Mannequin”, “Lanes”, and “Unrequited Love” employ is lovely enough, but they often end up feeling like rough sketches in search of a meatier song. It has to be said that Chapters’ spacious production does wonders for Yuna’s tender soprano, and when the two elements manage to combine over an honest-to-goodness number, such as in the case of "All I Do" and “Too Close”, the result is good enough to make heartbreak contemporaries Adele and Jessie Ware blush. Those who have kept a keen eye on Yuna's career development will also note that there are three big name collaborations on the album: the one with Jhené Aiko (“Used to Love You”) is the best of the bunch, with Usher’s “Crush” a close second. Unfortunately “Places to Go,” Yuna’s collaboration with DJ Premier, leaves nothing but a bitter aftertaste with its decidedly dated frat-boy posturing. Yuna has never turned in a better studio performance than on Chapters, but the bulk of the material she's working with, unfortunately, is on a lower level.



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user ratings (20)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Irving
Staff Reviewer
May 22nd 2016


7503 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Couldn't find a Soundcloud link to any of the Chapters songs, but here's "Used To Love You":



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UTJR8GfAbk

Pangea
May 22nd 2016


2697 Comments


I loved langit a few years ago but if i understand correctly this doesn't really sound like that song. I'll still give this a shot. Good review

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
May 22nd 2016


15719 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

glad i didn't write a review for this but I agree 100% here. the subject matter is largely the same from the last record and none of the songs are as gripping as "Rescue" or "I Want You Back". still like this a lot though

silentstar
May 22nd 2016


2496 Comments


knew this was going to be an Irving review before i opened it ;)

sucks that this is not as good as nocturnal tho :/

Keyblade
May 24th 2016


24644 Comments


^ lol same

good to see ur around Irving

tempest--
May 25th 2016


20454 Comments


i haven't listened to Yuna's other stuff but i liked this album quite a bit!

Irving
Staff Reviewer
May 25th 2016


7503 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hahaha thanks keyblade + silentstar



Tempest - her other, earlier stuff is simply much better. If you liked this mayhaps you'd like her self-titled and Nocturnal even more.

SowingSeason
Moderator
May 25th 2016


24588 Comments


Great review Irving. Sounds like something I could skip over but I might still check the link you provided.

Digging: The National - Sleep Well Beast

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
May 25th 2016


15719 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

have you heard lianne la havas irving?

Irving
Staff Reviewer
May 25th 2016


7503 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Can't say I have, Calc...is the artist similar in genre to Yuna?

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
May 26th 2016


15719 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

similar, more powerful voice imo and music is a little different but definitely very similar you may like her!



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RknoqbzXoHE



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