Reviews

Chlöe “In Pieces” Album Review

In Pieces

Chlöe

  • Genre: R&B/Soul
  • Date: 31 Mar, 2023
  • Content: explicit
  • Track(s): 14
  • ℗ 2023 Parkwood Entertainment LLC, under exclusive license to Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment
Chlöe &Quot;In Pieces&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, April 17, 2024
Source: Chloebailey (Chlöe@On Twitter)

The debut studio record by American singer-songwriter Chlöe is titled “In Pieces.” On March 31, 2023, Parkwood Entertainment and Columbia Records issued it. Chlöe started recording music for a solo endeavor in late 2019 after eight years of releasing music as part of the duo Chloe x Halle. To concentrate on promoting their widely praised album, “Ungodly Hour”(2020), she and her sister decided to put this on hold.

The sisters shared an Instagram account for nine years under the name Chloe x Halle before setting up distinct ones in January 2021. After landing the lead part in the live adaptation of “The Little Mermaid” in 2023, Halle spent several months away from Chlöe filming in another country. They had never been apart for a time as long as this one. Chlöe consequently started writing songs on her own as a form of therapy. She began recording to include it on Chloe x Halle’s third album, but the music eventually served as the foundation for a solo effort.

Album Art

Chlöe &Quot;In Pieces&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, April 17, 2024

The Album art sees the delectable Chloe clad in Silver clothing as she holds a “heart of Gold” in her hand, and a heat-map representation can be seen where her heart is supposed to be. What this means can only be adequately explained by Chloe and her team, but it’s evident it hints at taking control of her feelings, being in charge of her heart, and holding the heart of whoever she claims as “Hers” in this Love and relationship-themed album.

Tracks And Features

Like a cradle song, her grandfather used to sing to her, “Someone’s Calling”‘s operatic arias and bluesy cadences would have made the ideal opening track for an album about infidelity, similar to Lemonade’s “Pray You Catch Me.” But instead, the song harmonically intones a midnight aria over a sample of Louis Armstrong’s 1952 jazz standard.

Despite aiming for a comparable “debuting on top of a neon sign of her name” moment, Chlöe’s solo debut single “Have Mercy” sounded more like a song from the Empire soundtrack. Chloe x Halle’s magic as a duo depended heavily on eclectic, hands-on production and clever hooks, but Chlöe’s solo work sounds overproduced to the point of being sterile. The album tracks “Worried” and “Looze U” (the latter of which was co-written by The-Dream) suffer from a similar genericism. “Treat Me” felt optimized for mainstream radio due to the forced strut of her delivery and unimaginative “Ms. New Booty” sample.

Chlöe has some notable features, but they are all very synthesized. A Missy Elliott collaboration on “Told Ya” is wasted on singing warm-ups. (In the meantime, the young British band FLO, who have only been around for a little over a year, managed to host Missy on their recent “Fly Girl brilliantly” and reimagine one of her songs.) Chlöe teams up with “bad boy” Chris Brown for “How Does It Feel,” a song with the sexy appeal and intimate emotional content of Apple’s Terms and Conditions, in what appears to be a desperate effort to score a hit. She enlists Future for “Cheatback,” an acoustic ballad that uses Future’s playboy image as a meta-commentary on infidelity.

Imogen Heap, Donna Summer, and Kelis have all been cited as inspirations by the artist, which helps to explain some of the album’s startling vocal experiments. Although Chlöe is one of the best vocalists of her age, she yells “shiieeett” and “wiieeth” on “Told Ya” are puzzling. She astonishes as a contralto as she descends into her lower range. Listeners will be levitating during the breathtaking bridge of “Pray It Away” and “Make It Look Easy” and her fantastic performance on “Heart on My Sleeve.” This is the Chlöe who first grabbed Parkwood’s and the world’s attention for her taste in otherworldly vocal harmonies.

A flirtatious and upbeat dance track with ethereal falsettos overlaid, Chlöe’s standout single “Body Do” is a clear introduction to the pop sensation.

The album’s sole excellent outlier is ‘Pray It Away,’ on which Chlöe, like SZA on her most recent smash, ‘Kill Bill,’ plays around with committing a crime of passion. She sings, “God knows my heart, I’m wildin’,” implying that she can only be so wounded after having loved excessively. Again, it becomes evident that this is the level of pop melodrama that Chlöe has urgently wanted to share with the world for so long as a gospel choir closes behind her. That it took years of inconsistent messaging to get here is disheartening.

Tracklist

NO TITLE ARTIST TIME
1 Someone’s Calling (Chlöe) Chlöe 1:01
2 Pray It Away Chlöe 2:36
3 Body Do Chlöe 2:20
4 I Don’t Mind Chlöe 2:57
5 Worried Chlöe 2:47
6 Fallin 4 U Chlöe 0:52
7 How Does It Feel Chlöe & Chris Brown 2:46
8 Feel Me Cry Chlöe 3:29
9 Make It Look Easy Chlöe 2:57
10 Looze U Chlöe 3:57
11 Told Ya Chlöe & Missy Elliott 3:24
12 Cheatback Chlöe & Future 3:45
13 Heart On My Sleeve Chlöe 0:57
14 In Pieces Chlöe 3:59

Album Summary

Although these tracks frequently display moments of brilliance, they do little to enhance the atmosphere of this solo debut album. An anxious, gloomy, and frantic crossover effort, “In Pieces” powerfully introduces Chlöe’s more explicit RnB-pop discography. More energy is still present in the first half than in the second. Chlöe infuses her injured vulnerability with fire and rage in “In Pieces.” It’s a valuable addition to Chlöe’s already fantastic body of work.

When the opportunity for the next solo endeavor arises, this release enables her to lean more fervently into her production quirks. Chlöe’s interest in experimenting with structure and her debut solo album “In Pieces” make an effort to follow the free-flowing style of “Ungodly Hour.” Chlöe has released material slowly over the past two years, which has led some to wonder how she and her company have chosen to carve out Chlöe’s identity as a solo artist.

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