Whether it is for the right reason or not, Chris Brown is undeniably one of the most talked about entertainers in music today. This week, with the release of his newest album, he gave the world a new ground for chitchat.
Fortune is the 23-year-old’s follow up to last year’s Grammy-winning F.A.M.E., but critics are not very thrilled about it, some calling it a patchy album. And no matter how much you love Breezy, you cannot disagree with the fact that there aren’t enough brilliant songs to make Fortune a must have. Nonetheless, this album dubs a couple of good songs meant probably to restore Brown’s image.
One of such songs is a soft number, the melancholic ballad “Don’t Judge Me,” that finds him apologizing to a girlfriend for his bad behavior and asking her to look past his mistakes. “So please don’t judge me, because it can get ugly, before it gets beautiful,” he sings, making millions of people asking themselves whether this is a hidden apology to Rihanna or just another relationship plea. But since Breezy is on probation after pleading guilty to beating his then-girlfriend Rihanna three years ago and since his comeback stirred allegations that he may have used tear-inducing drops to make an emotional appearance on the BET Awards, we may all assume he’s regretting all that. In addition, this song makes him look vulnerable and appealing as he opens up to re veal a better version of himself.
Another highlight if this album is “Party Hard/Cadillac“, a great five-minute mélange of two songs that starts off groovy and bouncy before turning into an amazing jam of finger snaps, impressive vocal performances and doo-wops. “Biggest Fan” and “2012″ also stand up, followed by “4 Years Old”, which is a slow and soft ballad recalling Brown’s childhood in an unsuccessful attempt to return to happier times. “Feels like I’m 4 years old all over again, because I’m just running fast, I should be walking, saying when I grow up you gon’ see, I’m gon’ be comfortable and happy,” he sings.
Club smasher “Don’t Wake Me Up” is also promising, revealing a storming synth line and head-rocking beats that could make Brown capable of admiration like an artist who evolves up until dominating pop.
“Turn Up The Music” highlights his showman capabilities, while “Sweet Love” pops out provocative lyrics on R&B rhythms: “All these sensations got me going crazy for you, Inside on top of you.”
Unfortunately, the rest of the songs fail to impress or to offer something exciting. Hip-hop flavored with electronic beats designed for laser light shows and hearing Brown rap-talk about how much he likes to party, drink, have sex and spend money are definitely not too interesting. In fact, the entire album seems to suffer from Brown’s cocky and computerized noises that many blame on having too many producers and songwriters.
Overall, the album is not terrible, but it could have had more depth, substance and even the smallest evidence that he’s evolving as an artist. It lacks the energy that could have turned it into a summer album, thus, most likely, it won’t have the impact that F.A.M.E. did, nor it will be as successful.
Chris Brown - Fortune Cover
Chris Brown - Fortune Album Track Listing
1. “Turn Up the Music” - 3:47
2. “Bassline” - 3:58
3. “Till I Die” (featuring Big Sean and Wiz Khalifa) - 3:56
4. “Mirage” (featuring Nas) - 4:17
5. “Don’t Judge Me” - 4:00
6. “2012″ - 4:08
7. “Biggest Fan” - 3:59
8. “Sweet Love” - 3:19
9. “Strip” (featuring Kevin McCall) - 2:47
10. “Stuck on Stupid” - 3:58
11. “4 Years Old” - 3:49
12. “Party Hard / Cadillac (Interlude)” (featuring Sevyn) - 5:14
13. “Don’t Wake Me Up” - 3:42
14. “Trumpet Lights” (featuring Sabrina Antoinette) - 3:47
Deluxe Edition additional tracks
15. “Tell Somebody” - 4:04
16. “Free Run” - 3:39
18. “Wait for You” - 3:38
19. “Touch Me” (featuring Sevyn) - 3:37
UK and Ireland Deluxe Edition bonus tracks
20. “Key 2 Your Heart” - 3:23
21. “Do It Again” - 3:34
Japanese Deluxe Edition bonus track
20. “Your World” - 3:50
Released June 29, 2012
Genre R&B, pop, hip hop
Producer Adonis, Alle Benassi, Benny Benassi, Boi-1da, Catalyst, Chris Brown (exec.), Dallas Austin, Danja, Dante Jones, Dayvi Jae, Free School, Fuego, H Money, Jerome “J Roc” Harmon, Tommy Hittz, Jonas Jeberg, Dante Jones, Brian “BK” Kennedy, Kevin McCall, Jason “JP” Perry, Mark Pitts (exec.), Polow da Don, Pop Wansel, R.A.P. 1220, Team Breezy (exec.), Tha Bizness, The Messengers, The Monarch, The Runners, The Underdogs, Tina Davis (exec.), William Orbit