Yunalis Zarai’s light lyrical voice by default brings us back to the year 2011 when she first came into the international music scene with Decorate, however, Chapters brings out a whole new side of the scarved singer. Chapters materializes itself as if it is an open letter to Yuna’s ex-lover, complete with a roller-coaster of emotions. Through its tracks, it carries itself as a broody R&B lamentation of the idea of love, but sprinkled innovatively with Yuna’s soft soprano crooning voice. Unexpected musical elements and genres are also incorporated in some of the tracks, such as trap music, disco and even funk, which makes Chapters a versatile and a mind-blowing work of art by the Malaysian artiste.

Chapters track listing:

  1. Mannequin
  2. Lanes
  3. Crush ft. Usher
  4. Unrequited Love
  5. Best Love
  6. Used to Love You ft. Jhené Aiko
  7. Too Close
  8. Best of Me
  9. Your Love
  10. All I Do

Its first track Mannequin presented itself with signature R&B beats throughout, with an added flavour of electronic twinkling sounds and an extra electronic synth feel of heaviness when the first chorus begins. Intertwining with her light soprano harmonies, it is somewhat similar to Lanes. Lanes brings a happier electronic ambience among a creative mingling of 80s old school and trap music beats, heavy on the hi-hats. All this alongside Yuna’s soft tone makes these tracks unique. Best Love showcases a disco-pulse sensation, complete with a funky bass line, not too far-off from the 2016, Bruno Mars and Daft Punk feel. It completes itself with a 90s-reminiscent but trap-influenced beats all through the magical track.

“My body is tired ‘cause I can’t move on yet,”

The chanteuse sings these words as if writing in a diary on her track Your Love. Unlike the other songs, Your Love inclines to a more pop rock feeling with the utilization of semi-happy chord progressions. As it reaches it chorus, however, it peaks and transforms into angry, heavy electronic waves. Her gentle chanting and harmonies weaving amongst all this and the plucking of the electric guitar in the bridge creates a vibrant track, filled with an extensive amount of emotions. The song is basically a musical representation of how her former lover makes her feel happy but angry: Confused.

She ends Chapters with a heartfelt ballad entitled All I Do—A slow, calming end to what has been a passionate and emotive musical ride. She stays true to the motif of the idea of diary entries which is seen in her lyrics:

“All I do is think about you. I sleep late and wake up, then I’ll just stay in bed .. Now that I don’t have you, that’s all I do,”

She concludes Chapters by bringing out the Yuna we were all acquainted with years ago when she first appeared in all her glory into the music scene. Chapters is, in short, a versatile album containing many different kinds of genres incorporated into a manifestation of Yuna’s creative experimentations, but it seems as though through it all, albeit the lamentation, the broodiness and the darker feel of this album and despite collaborating with established R&B musicians Usher and Jhené Aiko on incredibly well-produced tracks in Chapters, Yuna stays true to herself and the lyrical crooning soprano voice she is blessed with that we all know too well. Yuna maintains that she is still the Malaysian hijabi songstress we were introduced to years ago.

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Sa'adah is a lover of the arts who studied English Literature and Drama & Theatre Studies. She frequently participates in music, stage productions and the art of writing.