Chris Brown


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Not quite as extravagant as the preceding Heartbreak on a Full Moon, Chris Brown's tenth album is merely two hours in length. That still allows more than enough space for the singer to sufficiently cover each one of his modes. Pleasure-seeking club tracks, entitled slow jams, tormented ballads, and yearning pop-R&B love songs -- the last of which still match up best with his voice, virtually unchanged during the last decade -- are all plentiful. The length also enables Brown to take numerous competitive digs at the lacking intelligence and sexual ability of various men as they relate to his object of affection. "He was dumb as fuck" and "I can do what your man just can't do" are two of the less extreme examples. One of them is from "Side N*gga," where the protagonist sounds happiest. Across the two discs, Brown keeps much of the same co-songwriting and production company -- Scott Storch, Eric Bellinger, and Boi-1da among it -- and adds some new faces to the mix. What truly sets the album apart is the large carousel of featured artists. It seats well over a dozen, including veterans such as Juicy J and Tank, the emergent likes of Gunna and Ink, and much of the Young Money family, whose Nicki Minaj is on the New Orleans bounce-indebted "Wobble." Most welcomed of all is H.E.R., who outclasses everybody on the glowing "Come Together." On his own, Brown tends to tread water, but there's one major exception -- a career highlight -- in "Back to Love," a sweetly remorseful number with hints of Off the Wall/Thriller-era Michael Jackson. The clear interpolations and samples elsewhere are mostly obvious, altogether making for a selective history of black radio hits dating back to the early '80s. All of the referenced classics, from "I Love Your Smile" (Shanice) and "Back & Forth" (Aaliyah) to "Back That Azz Up" (Juvenile) and "Grindin'" (Clipse), are handled clumsily. Strangest is hearing the sampled Alicia Myers sing "I want to thank you, heavenly father" -- from her devotional boogie classic "I Want to Thank You" -- as an intro to Brown's womanizing mischief with Lil Jon.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 03:12
2 03:40
feat: One Way
4 03:17
5 06:39
6 03:38
feat: DMX
feat: Fresh Four
9 05:28
10 03:52
11 04:20
12 03:21
13 05:03
14 03:24
feat: Clipse

Track Listing - Disc 2

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 03:25
2 03:04
3 03:13
4 03:32
5 02:49
6 04:58
7 02:35
8 03:04
9 06:20
10 03:55
feat: Aaliyah
12 03:51
13 04:18
feat: Vulfpeck
15 03:46
16 03:02
17 03:00
18 04:02
blue highlight denotes track pick