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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Album review: Chris Brown

Recording artist sensation Chris Brown’s new album, “X” was initially slated to be released in July 2013 but complications with Brown’s personal life, including a stint in an anger management rehabilitation center, pushed the album’s launch date to mid September.

“X” is the sixth studio album of Brown’s career and marks the second CD under the RCA Record label.

The first three singles that Brown released were not included in the standard 18-track album but can be found in the deluxe edition of the album, which makes the 21-song version a more appealing product.

The most popular track on the album is “Loyal,” which ended up being played on numerous radio stations throughout the summer.

On Dec. 19, Brown initially released two different versions of this song, a west and east coast version. Brown and rapper Lil Wayne are the mainstays of both songs but rappers French Montana and Too Short each recite a verse in the East Coast and West Coast versions respectively.

However, both versions are forgettable as Tyga raps the last verse in the music video and the song that eventually ended up on the album.

The title track, “X,” is the first song on the album and is a good indicator of what is in store. Electronic Dance Music is sprinkled throughout the album and it can be first seen here.

The drops during the song were ineffective and gives off the vibe that Brown was focusing on creating club anthems.

The album fails to establish a musical theme as some songs fit under either the EDM category, R&B; or hip-hop. It is inconsistent and would have been in Brown’s best interest to stick with one genre.

One of the stronger singles on the album, “New Flame,” features the varied musical styles of Usher and Rick Ross. Usher, like Brown, was arguably the top performer in R&B; at one point, which makes this collaboration extraordinary.

Brown collaborates with one of hip-hop’s hottest artists in Kendrick Lamar on “Autumn Leaves” and this combination does not disappoint.

The beat of the song is played with a subdued manner. Brown is good for at least one standout track that isn’t a party hit but an under-the-radar slow jam and this is it. Lamar’s rapping matches Brown’s mood at first but slowly raises the intensity in his voice and raises his voice to a crescendo and increases the speed of his rhymes as well.

“X” does not top Brown’s earlier work in terms of overall quality but the new release is still a decent production. There are just enough hits to be passable but the rest of the songs seem like filler songs and are not too memorable.

“X” is not the fireworks ending fans were hoping for but nevertheless, Brown should be proud of what he has accomplished in his music career.

Rating: 7/10

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