During my reviews, I try to be as objective as possible and only listen to whoever’s music as it compares to previous materials. I tried (and felt like I succeeded) to do that with John Mayer’s album a month or so back, greatly helped by the fact that he really wasn’t acting out anymore. He helped himself market his album by doing nothing outrageous and/or stupid for that duration of time. This leads me to Chris Brown, who seems to be in the headlines now more so for his actions around the world than the actual music; those actions becoming almost unavoidable to talk about. And before I continue I’d like to say that, at times, I really did enjoy his music. It was catchy, upbeat, and fun to listen to. However, as his actions became bigger news, it sullied his music to me. His celebrity has now become larger than his music itself, with it only being a speck in his universe of Twitter fights, real fights, and violent outbursts.
But to Team Breezy, I know that I was not in the car or at the club that Chris Brown was in. But the fact is that you probably weren’t either, so I guess this makes us even.
Regardless of what Breezy has been doing in his free time, he had enough of it to make his new album, Fortune.
If you’re expecting anything truly “new” with this album, then you are going to be really disappointed. The opener “Turn Up The Music” is a cool club jam ready to be spun and remixed by some big time DJs. “Mirage” is a great slow jam featuring yet another great verse by Nas. Besides those two, none of the other twelve songs on Fortune really impressed me: Brown basically does his own background vocals on the heavy Big Sean and Wiz Khalifa collaboration “Till I Die.” “Bassline” has Brown try to incorporate less than adequate dubstep effects to an awful rap song. “Don’t Wake Me Up” reminds me so much of “Beautiful People” off of his last album that I almost just started singing the latter’s chorus instead (though this song has the best production on the album, I’ll give it that).
The best part about Fortune is the slower songs. Those really do show off what Chris should be known for – R&B songs that swoon in and out of different feelings and emotions. However some lyrics are a little bit laughable (“Don’t Judge Me” especially). He can croon like the best of them; however, when he tries to rap and be “hard,” it just drops his entire credibility for me. Him getting all the girls at the club and telling his girl that he still loves her is just really contradicting. That’s a bit of nit-picking, I know, but it just got under my skin.
Probably the worst thing about Fortune is its length. At almost an hour long, the repetitiveness just kills the album about half way through. It took me multiple listens to actually listen to this album, marking my progress along the way in case I got bored and turned it off. And that happened quite frequently. Maybe if Chris put more time into lyrical content and better production (some isn’t that bad), I would gravitate to this album more. Instead, it makes me think of F.A.M.E., his last album before this. He rehashed so many ideas from that album, you’d think this was just its unreleased material. Who knows, maybe it was. Regardless of how I feel about him as a person, I know that Chris Brown can make better music than what’s on Fortune. Too bad no one will care about this album when it comes out.
Final Grade: C-
Go Download: “Mirage” feat. Nas