ALBUM REVIEW: “FORTUNE” – CHRIS BROWN

I’m not the only person resurfacing this week: CHRIS BROWN decided to unleash his sixteen year old self on the music industry by way of his fifth studio album, FORTUNE. I, for one, am pretty elated by this. I bet you’re wondering just how I’m figuring that Breezy’s teen persona is what this R&B/pop album  is embodying – well, I will tell you. With more R&B packed in this LP by the twenty-three year old superstar than we’ve heard from him since EXCLUSIVE, FORTUNE is what Chris would have sounded like if he’d never made another album after his initial debut. My opinion, remember this.

Everyone knows I stan for GRAFFITI (2009) more than any other person on the planet but he was continuing his experimentation with electronic elements, which bled into 2011’s F.A.M.E. and that featured a bit more hip-hop than we’ve heard from his efforts excluding mixtapes.

I’m against none of this because each album of Chris’ represents his moment in time – as every album for every artist does. FORTUNE is special, though; it has the potential to be remembered for far more than just a reflection of two years’ worth of work and life experience. Growth isn’t the word – Chris, on this album, proves that he is indeed a GROWN MAN. You may shade how he chooses to address certain instances in his personal life – remember that everything that occurs outside of a studio, arena/theater/stadium, or movie set is indeed his personal life … – but you can’t deny that his music has showcased his maturity gradually and FORTUNE is the pinnacle of just that.

I couldn’t be more proud.

From addressing his sexual cravings even as the world’s ending in “2012” – stop scaring me with this, guys – to advertising the popularity of his “Bassline”, Breezy’s carnal desires are laced all through this album but he’s in his early twenties. This is healthy and beyond expected. Fast songs like “Turn Up The Music”, “Strip” – a fan-favorite originally from his 2011 mixtape BOY IN DETENTION – and his current single “Don’t Wake Me Up” keep your foot tapping on your way to work or school as Chris is so famously known for. That other shoe promptly drops when the beats for songs like “Biggest Fan” (yowzas!), “Tell Somebody”, and “Sweet Love” kick up and put you in your feelings immediately. While sex and dancing are great things that Chris is amazing at – I’m assuming on the sex thing since I have no first-hand knowledge of this … promise – love truly does conquer all on FORTUNE.

“Don’t Judge Me” is the first hint at something amazing happening with Chris’ writing this time around: he’s sincere and speaks from the heart, crooning about forgoing arguments for the sake of true love. It makes you just wanna shake whoever he’s talking to and tell her to stop being petty – amazing. Next up is one of my ABSOLUTE favorites off FORTUNE, “Stuck On Stupid”; apparently, this is one of his favorites too as he told MTV just that a few weeks back. Do I know great music or what? “Stuck On Stupid” is a hefty tale of knowing just how much you’re compromising your G-status while in progress of this great love experience but you’ve gotten to a point where you don’t even mind because the object of your attention is just that dope. It’s happened, people. “Free Run” is such a great song that has Chris throwing caution to the wind and running until he finds that girl he’s meant to find – you, girl, he’s meant to find you. These three songs are what I like to call the ballad trifecta – each hitting a specific place in your heart with a calculated mission in mind: to make you feel and hope, hope that you will find what he’s proclaiming about for yourself one day.

A track that sneaks up on you – I know because it happened to me on the first listen – is “Party Hard”. I thought this was gonna be the most ratchet song ever, Breezy bars included, but it’s the complete opposite. Also a CB favorite as told to MTV, “Party Hard” celebrates the girl who’s “the life of the party” and wants him just like he wants her but she’s too busy gettin’ it in. Poor Chris is even willing to reduce himself to getting her drink spilled on him just for a little quality time and she’s still not budging. Fantastic song put to an amazingly R&B beat (shout out to Boi-1da and Brian Kennedy) that is rightfully deserving of the single treatment.

Call me if you need video treatment ideas, CB – I saw it in my head as I was listening, so I got that for you!

Features, while sparse, held a common denominator after a while: the CBE camp. Sure, we know about the Big Sean and Wiz Khalifa appearance (“Till I Die”) and even was surprised happily by NAS appearing on “Mirage” – yet another solid track – but the ladies of Chris Brown’s own camp definitely represented on FORTUNE with SABRINA ANTOINETTE and SEVYN stepping up to the plate as guest vocalists. I have to say that it would have been awesome to hear the angelic powerhouse vocal stylings of Miss JOELLE JAMES but her sisters in song did a great job of representing the crew on “Trumpet Lights” and Sevyn on multiple tracks including “Remember My Name” and “Touch Me”.

Plainly put, FORTUNE is an album well worth the purchase as it’s a deeply cohesive project that showcases Brown’s growth as a man and artist. His fans will love it – they already do – but for those who have been waiting for some trace of 2005 CB to resurface in his music your time has come. The boy is now a man – we get it now.

Always remember; deluxe editions rule over standards (you’ll miss out on “Tell Somebody”, “Free Run”, and MANY more if you don’t get that deluxe!) and it’s Breezy – with two e’s.

Purchase FORTUNE at your local music retailer and online: iTunes (deluxe):(standard) – Amazon (deluxe) – MyPlayDirect (deluxe):(standard)

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