Chris Brown | F.A.M.E (Jive)

With an even balance of sexual confidence and emotioal love songs, this album showcases the uniqueness of Brown’s talent.




I have been anticipating a new Chris Brown album since Graffiti, which was released shortly after the pre-Grammy moment that darkened and derailed his career. I’m ready because now is the time for talent to reign over public opinion and personal mishaps. Otherwise, given Brown’s recent angry, idiotic moment on Good Morning America, he risks becoming more of the Bobby Brown than the Michael Jackson of our time.

So if F.A.M.E stands for “falling allows me to evolve” (one of the many interpretations floating around), then that’s exactly what he has done with his fourth studio album. Laced with an even balance of sexual confidence and emotional love songs, this album showcases the uniqueness of Brown’s talent. You cannot deny its richness and what he contributes to the R&B genre.

The first single, “Deuces,” featuring Tyga and Kevin McCall, announces the end of a relationship. Brown has been lied to and is so done with her shenanigans. The hook tells her, “I’m on some new shit, I’m chucking my deuces up to her/ I’m moving to something better, better, better.”

“Up 2 You” is a heartfelt ballad. In the lyrics, Brown reveals he’s fallen in love and refuses to mess up again. He wants to take it slow, follow her lead, and let her decide how the relationship will progress. In “No Bullshit,” Brown focuses on the physical and vows to satisfy her every need with no hesitation, all night.

The second single, featuring Busta Rhymes and Lil’ Wayne, “Look At Me Now,” is the club anthem along with “Oh My Love.” It reminds us all to look at how far we’ve come and know that in this moment, we are the best things since sliced bread. (Do insert your personal cocky remark here.) “I’m out of my head, bitch I’m out of my mind/ From the bottom I climb/ You ain’t hotter than mine, nope, not on my time/ And I’m not even trying,” Lil’ Wayne boasts.

Sampling his idol Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature” with “She Ain’t You,” he pours out a love letter to his ex, confessing that he has to let his new girl go because “every day I’m with her all I want is you.” Brown does a good job of blending his bad boy image with sweet love confessions to present the package that is F.A.M.E.

He has strategically great collaborations with teen pop sensation Justin Bieber on “Next 2 You,” Ludacris on “Wet the Bed,” Benny Benassi on “Beautiful People,” Wiz Khalifa on “Bomb,” Game on “Love the Girls,” and Big Sean and Timbaland on “Paper, Scissors, Rock.” Looks like he was going in for the kill with his collaborations, and it is greatly appreciated. This offers the audience a chance to not only be serenaded with his wonderful singing voice, but also with tight rapping and lyrical skills.

As always, Brown gives me that one ballad that empties his soul and fulfills my ears with the story of love. On “All Back,” he sings, “I want it all, I want it all, you never miss a good thing ‘til it’s gone/ I want it all, now I want it all back.” In “Should’ve Kissed You,” Brown regrets not revealing his feelings to a girl who is his best friend.

In all battles we fight, when we don’t live up to our potential we long for another chance to be back in the spotlight, redeem ourselves, and prove our greatness. For some of us that day never comes, but for the lucky ones like Brown, the day is here and must be used to the fullest extent to highlight our amazing talents, strengths, and minds. As he puts it, “It’s your life, it’s your life got to make it right beautiful people.” B+ | Ashley White


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