Chris Brown : Fortune


Chris Brown
(RCA Records)

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Chris Brown, St. Louis-based rapper, is back — with his fifth studio album, Fortune. As a companion piece to his 2011 album, F.A.M.E., this album features collaborations by Big Sean, Wiz Khalifa, and Nas.

“Turn Up The Music,” Brown’s first single, is a pop electric dance track, but incomparable to his former acclaimed singles, “Look At Me Now,” “Yeah 3x,” and “Beautiful People.” It fails to grasp full attention and will quickly become some background music with a DJ mixing over it.

F.A.M.E. and Fortune diverge between realms of hip-hop, R & B, pop electronic, and dance amalgamated mixes, almost too forced and jumps from one genre to another, losing Brown’s voice as an artist.  “Till I Die” and “Strip” come closest to reconnecting a “Look At Me Now” moment by using nightclub, catchy anthems.

The track titles and the redundancy of the chorus are mere indicators of his unprogressive return. Brown sings in “Bassline,” “Girls like my/Bassline/Shake it to my/Bassline/Gunna make it my/Bassline.” Brown captivates his listeners by playing off his sex appeal. He continues to come out of his young, softer R&B persona to cultivate his post-Rihanna, bad boy image with raunchy and sex-driven lyrics.

Whereas a slower-paced, romantic ballad, “Don’t Judge Me,” unfolds his personal side, “Take me as I am/Not who I was/I’ll promise I’ll be the one you can trust.” This gives hope that Chris is still developing as an artist and will continue to create edgier, more meaningful tracks.

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