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Chloe Bailey – In Pieces

  • Release date: 31 March 2023
  • Label: Parkwood entertainment, Columbia Records

The eagerly awaited Chlöe Bailey solo debut, In Pieces, comes after nearly two years of setbacks, several unsuccessful singles, and—perhaps most concerning of all—a duet with contentious musician Chris Brown called “How Does It Feel.” The final part is what bothers R&B fans, who have been trying for more than ten years to get rid of the scandal-plagued Virginian singer, only to watch him hailed as a major figure in the genre’s post-1990s zenith and continue to be a constant fixture on radio stations across the country.

Still, In Pieces begins with “Someone’s Calling (Chlöe),” which transforms Louis Armstrong’s “Chlo-e (Song of the Swamp)” into a spooky prelude. Chlöe scats along with the sampled trumpet as if it were a familiar plaything (she revealed to RS that her grandfather sang her the melody when she was a child.) But in a matter of minutes, childhood games are abandoned. “Fuck nigga, fuck nigga, fuck nigga…when I hear his name I get more triggered,” she sings on “Pray It Away.” The song provides a chance for a woman who is “no Virgin Mary” to wash away her disappointments in prayer. However, the lingering anger is maintained with songs like “Body Do” (“I can’t ever never trust you”).

From where did all this unnatural chill originate? Maybe it’s a lack of pleasure with the demands of celebrity. In the song “Make It Look Easy,” Chlöe sings, “They don’t know the bullshit that I’ve been through.” Or perhaps it’s the hurts and breaks that come with moving from virginal teen idolatry to a less tidy celebrity life that’s pampered by appearances on iHeart Radio and People magazine. Give her credit, even if the Pieces don’t always equal the total effort, for attempting to transform her growing pains into prickly, occasionally pleasant art.

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Chloe Bailey’s In Pieces Tracklist

1. “Someone’s Calling (Chloë)”
2. “Pray It Away”
3. “Body Do”
4. “I Don’t Mind”
5. “Worried”
6. “Fallin 4 U”
7. “How Does It Feel” feat. Chris Brown
8. “Feel Me Cry”
9. “Make It Look Easy”
10. “Looze U”
11. “Told Ya” feat. Missy Elliott
12. “Cheatback” feat. Future
13. “Heart on My Sleeve”
14. “In Pieces”