Chris Brown. One of music’s most controversial yet celebrated artists, with a Hot 100 record that both surprises and humbles his illustrious career. His 2009 album Graffiti was a commercial flop; sporting chart-topping singles like ‘Look at Me Now’, yet selling only 100,000 copies its first week and then plummeting out of the Billboard 200 the following week. Graffiti was not Chris Brown’s greatest success, and his recent publicity stunts have led to people likening him to Justin Bieber (a career path that no one wants to go down).
So what about now? With his sixth studio album, X, released this past Tuesday, Brown attempts to right his wrongs in the all-telling 21-song album, and manages to do so quite effectively. X is a solid album; a filler of sorts for the crowded hip-hop market, meaning it will not be remembered as a blueprint for future albums, but will suffice for now. It is, in fact too overloaded: featuring 9 all-star guest acts spawning the 21 song track list. Interestingly, the songs that Brown released in the past 12 months are the true gems of this album. ‘Loyal (feat. Lil Wayne & Tyga)’, ‘X’, ‘New Flame (feat. Usher & Rick Ross)’, ‘Love More (feat. Nicki Minaj)’, ‘Don’t Think They Know (feat. Aaliyah)’ and ‘Fine China’ are the songs that stand out the most on this album. Everything else is superfluous and takes away from the good songs that had the potential to make X something truly special. So perhaps Brown should have considered a type of “reduction” on his album, removing some of the many songs that cloud the undeniable potential of this album, and focusing instead on the many hit singles that X has spawned.
The LP would benefit from some fat-trimming, especially on its lustful first half, and thus would result in a more cohesive product that has the potential to be a commercial success.
Is it bad? No. Is it good? Sort of, but if you, like me, already have so many of his popular singles from X, then the rest of the album is really a waste of money.