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CHRIS BROWN – F.A.M.E.

[rating:3.5]
To say that Chris Brown has been given a rough ride recently would be the understatement of the century. The incident with Rihanna more than two years ago is still on the tips of everybody’s tongues. Many “fans” deserted him as he seemed to apparently be spiraling out of control. As if he didn’t have enough on his plate, somebody has leaked nude photos of Chris on the Internet. At times, it’s hard to stay focused on the music; his life seems to play out like a cringy soap opera but lets remember, Chris Brown started off fresh faced, 16 year old whose debut album Chris went double platinum, selling over 2 million copies in the United States alone. The talent of Breezy cannot be disputed!

Now this month, Chris is set to release his latest album, the greatly anticipated F.A.M.E.

The first track off the album is Deuces, featuring Tyga from the Young Money camp. We all know it, it has become something of an anthem…the ultimate break up tune. Still getting heavy rotation on the radio both stateside and in Europe.

But the rest of F.A.M.E. is not all as ice cold as Deuces. Chris shows a more sensitive side on tracks such as the slow jams No Bullshit and Up 2 You. Up 2 You gives us a glimpse of the romantic side of Chris Brown as he is the perfect gentleman whilst he croons, “It’s so unusual for me to be waiting/ But I don’t wanna blow it girl” — just what every girl wants to hear.

Wet The Bed, featuring Ludacris, is a sexual, sensual piece. Brown owns this track and does not get overpowered by Luda. Delicate water drops, drip their way through this delectable ditty. I will be adding this one to my slow jam playlist at home.

Look At Me Now was confusing to me. Chris doesn’t sing on this — he raps. I’m all for trying something new but after listening to this several times I still have come to the conclusion that Chris should definitely stick to singing. He does himself no favors. The beat is pretty hot though. A punchy, mid-tempo beat with a heavy bassline and something skipping over it sounding a lot like a cool, futuristic, mechanical bird. Busta Rhymes comes in after Chris and to put it bluntly — shuts Chris down. Busta’s flow hits hard and fast like a machine gun and by the time Lil Wayne came in I was like, “Lil who?” Not the worst track I’ve ever heard, but probably the weakest on this album.

She Ain’t You, one of the other more warm, mellow tracks. SWV’s Right Here has been sampled with just a few added tweaks. It was definitely complimentary to the sugar sweet vocals of Chris Brown and put me in a reminiscent mood as I was gently taken back to the 90’s. Loved it! Everything about She Ain’t You worked.

Tracks such as Say It With Me, Yeah 3x, Oh My Love and Beautiful People are all more fast-tempo, dance tracks. I’m not too much a fan of dance music but I loved the feel good vibe and positive messages in Beautiful People.

All Back and Should’ve Kissed You are more reflective than the rest. All Back was more of a ballad. The cliche ‘Don’t know what you’ve got ‘til its gone’ track. It was fairly average, but one couldn’t help wondering who he was missing. Could it be Rihanna?

I should probably say something about the recently leaked Next 2 You, featuring Justin Bieber. I didn’t like it, it was cheesy, unoriginal and sounded as if they were singing to each other rather than singing with each other. Big thumbs down.

After listening to this album a few times, I realized that there is a little something for everybody. From slow jams to tight rap verses all the way to dance music. F.A.M.E. was an easy listen. Nothing out of the ordinary or super original but not dull either.

F.A.M.E. is a good attempt by Chris Brown to re-establish himself as the Prince Of R&B, which unfortunately, I don’t think this has achieved. Overall, not a bad album!

Standout Tracks: “She Ain’t You”, “Wet The Bed”, “Beautiful People”

Tracklisting:

1. Deuces ft. Tyga & Kevin McCall
2. Up 2 You
3. No Bullshit
4. Look At Me Now ft. Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes
5. She Ain’t You
6. Say It With Me
7. Yeah 3x
8. Next 2 You ft. Justin Bieber
9. All Back
10. Wet The Bed ft. Ludacris
11. Oh My Love
12. Should’ve Kissed You
13. Beautiful People ft. Benny Benassi

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