Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Is Chris Brown's New Album "X" His Best Work Yet? (Review)



Finally! After multiple delays and redoes.. Chris Brown has finally! released his highly anticipated, X album. Even in the midst of jail time and other things, Chris' fan base managed to keep the promo riding high, and the reward for their diligence is finally here. I had high hopes for this album myself. With all that has transpired during it's creation I knew it had the potential to be a great offering from such a creative person. I knew Chris would pour himself out in various ways because thats what he does. What I wanted was a mature approach, and a record that featured Chris the singer more than Chris the rapper. I think I got my wishes.

I was pleasantly surprised to realize that X is a singing album. Following the trend of the singles he's dropped leading up to it, the singer/songwriter is showing off his vocal talent song after song. I'm glad he opted to not rap at all. It's not that he can't rap, but for me personally I prefer to hear him sing. He's such a good singer..why not?

X sounds like a personal journey. He's got a few records about the ups, the downs, and seemingly his own personal struggles with love. Some of the songs find the performer in a mature place talking about the love journey and being a better person. Other songs are true dance/club bangers we've also come to want from an artist of Chris' talent.

After multiple listens, Chris has a solid album. Solid. The content, production, concepts, and features make for something that Chris should be very proud of. Stand outs come one after the other. As a music lover it's great to be able to listen to an album from start to finish without skipping one. While I don't love some of the singles (so I did have to skip a bit), the overall presentation is fluid. From uptempo dance records like Came To Do ft. Akon, to beautiful ballads like Autumn Leaves -the ride is ever winding in a good way.

Among the best offers on X & in no particular order are, Drunk Texting- which features Jhene Aiko in a very candid and simple song about that embarrassing moment of being too intoxicated to stop yourself from sending texts you'll regret in the morning.
Autumn Leaves has perfect melody & lyrical content in it's verses. Kendrick Lamar comes through at the end with wise words, changing the tone of the record from it's very relaxed core to a throwback Bone Thugs & Harmony record before Chris comes back to smooth things out. Autumn surprised me because ever since we heard a snippet of it when the video was being shot- I just knew I'd love it. I'm with it all the way until the end of the hook, and then it loses me. Overall though, it's a beautiful song.
Do Better (and I may be partial) is a harsh reality check by way of Chris and my fave Brandy. The vocal delivery is solid and the words are tough to swallow making for a song that many people can identify with.

Chris gets witty on Time For Love and Add Me In. Both dance records that make you groove a bit, but the lyrical wordplay makes them even more fun.
Songs on 12 Play featuring Chris' buddy Trey Songz is an ode' to R&B legend R. Kelly's contribution to music. The two youngsters intertwine song titles from R. Kelly's discography into one solid record.
Kels is actually a feature on another song, Drown In It which is classic R. Kelly with a splash of Chris Brown. It does make for a great collaboration..both artists can give you r&b.
I fell for See You Around, it's a breath of fresh air from the heavy r&b pace of the album. It's light but beautifully written and shows Chris Brown's beautiful voice off well.
Lost in Ya Love from the deluxe version is also cute. I don't know that it does anything for me musically, but it's a cute song.

The masses will no doubt love X, Stereotype, Came to Do, Don't Be Gone Too Long, and Body Shots even though I don't get them. They are definitely Chris Brown records, but they don't stretch me in any way...I expected them. They are songs you've heard before from Chris. X- probably my least favorite is just a song that gives me bitter ex tease- no pun intended. I respect it because Chris is an artist and this is expression, but I don't do bitter ex.  The singles he's released from this album play into this grouping. Out of all of them-New Flame, Fine China, and Dont Think They Know were personal faves, but I understood the hype around others like the fan fave, Loyal.

I grade an album based off of whether or not I'd recommend it to music heads I respect. While in some minds Chris Brown is still proving who he is as a person, one thing is undeniable- he's an incredible artist. The consistency of every album he's dropped since he was introduced to music is commendable. This is an industry that grabs artists for a time and drops them a moment later when the wave changes. Chris Brown has released in X, the same sound he's released time and time again on previous offerings, and it still works. This is proof that it's his artistry, not a gimmick, or public opinion that has sustained him. X is solid. It's a singing album from beginning to end. Chris has tried to cover all genres of pop and r&b on this album, and somehow he does it well. He is the epitome of this blend without a doubt.

We've seen him somewhat focus in on promo for this album, and recent interviews have shown a Chris Brown who seems more mature and focused. That persona with music like he's delivered here on X is a magical combination. While I can't title it as his best work yet...that was Fortune (my favorite CB album), X gets a solid B+ from me. Amidst the chaos of his personal struggles, Chris Brown continues to establish his name in music history as a true contendor for one of the best this generation has to offer.

Tracklist

1.X
Chris Brown, Thomas Wesley Pentz, Leon Derrick Youngblood, Dewain Whitmore, Jr., Amber “Sevyn” Streeter
2.Add Me In
Chris Brown, Leon Derrick Youngblood, Nieman Johnson, Nathaniel Hills Floyd, Eric Bellinger, Marcella Christina Araica
3.Loyal (feat. Lil Wayne & Tyga)
Nicholas Balding, Mark Kragen, Chris Brown, Tyrone Griffin, Jr., Robert Brackins, Dwayne Carter, Karim Kharbouch, Stanley Cox, Omololu Akinlolu, Mason Betha, Sean Combs, Christopher Wallace, Todd Shaw, Asha Puthli, Deric Angelettie, Michael Stevenson
4.New Flame (feat. Usher & Rick Ross)
Chris Brown, Usher Raymond, William Leonard Roberts II, Verse Simmonds
5.Songs on 12 Play (feat. Trey Songz)
Chris Brown, Melvin Hough II, Rivelino Raoul Wouter, Verse Simmonds, Tremaine Neverson, Robert Kelly
6.101 (Interlude)
Chris Brown, Kenneth Coby, Scott Effman, Lukas Nathanson
7.Drown In It (feat. R. Kelly)
Chris Brown, Dennis-Manuel Peters, Daniel Coriglie, Mario Bakovic, Robert Kelly
8.Came to Do (feat. Akon)
Chris Brown, Nicholas Balding, Mark Kragen
9.Stereotype
Chris Brown, Leon Derrick Youngblood, Nieman Johnson, Nathaniel Hills Floyd, Eric Bellinger, Marcella Christina Araica
10.Time for Love
Chris Brown, Jean Baptiste, Ryan Buendia, Michael McHenry, Darius Harrison, Lauren Christy
11.Lady In Glass Dress (Interlude)
Chris Brown, Darhyl “Hey DJ” Camper, Samuel “Sam Hook” Jean
12.Autumn Leaves (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
Chris Brown, Kendrick Lamar, Leon Derrick Youngblood, Pitts
13.Do Better
Chris Brown, Brandy Rayana Norwood, Glass John, Brent Paschke
14.See You Around
Chris Brown, Jonathan Solone-Myvett
15.Don’t Be Gone Too Long
Chris Brown, Michael McHenry, Ryan Buendia, Kyle M. Edwards, Jean Baptiste, Cathy Dennis. Scott Hoffman, Clarence Coffee, Jr.
16.Body Shots
Chris Brown, Leon Derrick Youngblood, Verse Simmonds, Nicol√≤ Arquilla, Daniele Autore, J. “Lonny” Bereal
17.Drunk Texting (feat. Jhené Aiko)
Chris Brown, Verse Simmonds, Victoria McCants, Tommy Brown, Steven Franks


Deluxe Version
1.Lost In Ya Love
Chris Brown, Christian Rich

2.Love More (feat. Nicki Minaj)
Christopher Maurice Brown, Onika Maraj, Darrell Eversley, Howard Eversley, Shaun Spearman, Verse Simmonds, Eric Bellinger

3.Don’t Think They Know (feat. Aaliyah)
Benjamin “Black” Bush, Verse Simmonds, Tim Kelley, Bob Robinson, Jonathan David Buck

4.Fine China

4 comments:

  1. I agree with everything you said on here. Its like this my review. lol I wanted a few more ballad tho.

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    1. We both want the singer Chris Brown! Lol
      xo

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  2. thats funny because this write up is innacurate to be exact. the album isnt that good at all, i expected more from chris at this point in his career. he chasing behind rhianna and that other girl and not focusing on bettering his craft. im not with u on this one kayki and i was actually hopin u would be one hunnid about this album not bein as good as it couldve been but i see u ridin the media wagon wit this one. dont agree at all, i wouldnt have even written about this album.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing, but in the end, this site is mine and it voices my opinion.
      xo

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