“Chris Brown Hits Women. Enough Said.” Music Critics Bash Breezy’s New Album
More than three years after Chris Brown famously beat down his then-girlfriend Rihanna, in the eyes of music critics charged with reviewing his albums, the 23-year-old’s fortune still hasn’t changed.
Recently, the R&B singer released his fifth studio album Fortune. Normally, music critics review an album by waxing eloquent about the lyrics, melodies, vocals, production, etc. For Chris Brown’s new album though, Cityreview’s Chad Taylor simply had this to say:
“Chris Brown hits women. Enough said.”
That was all he wrote!
Chad wasn’t the only music critic to use the opportunity to tell us he really feels about Chris Brown. As Take 40.com reported, in a scathing “No Stars Ever” review, Chloe Papas took a cue from the black belt’s treatment of Rihanna and held no punches:
“Chris Brown has released his fifth studio album — a 19-track repugnant record that we can only hope will be his last!”
“The whole album is skitzy and has two themes: unprotected sex is super fun and partying is cool.”
“Regardless of whether Chris Brown has any musical talent (he doesn’t) or whether this album is any good (it isn’t), the man recently brutally assaulted a woman, and is still regularly invited back to award shows and worshipped by ‘Breezy’ fans worldwide. Which is, frankly, disgusting… Final words: don’t buy this album.”
Countless other publications reviewed Chris’s album including CNN, LA Times, Billboard Magazine and HipHop DX. Though most steered clear of making the 2009 incident their focus, not a single review failed to mention Rihanna.
Telling readers “Don’t buy it”, Time Magazine’s Melissa Locker had this to say:
With his track record, some fans may hesitate to plunk down cash for Brown’s latest album, Fortune. However, a truly great album could push wavering fans to pay, despite their trepidations about supporting Brown himself. Fortune, however, is not a great album. It has a few stand-out tracks that show Brown’s potential as an artist, but for the most part, the album is boring. It manages to combine elements of electronic dance music, dubstep and R&B with talented producers, skilled guest stars and a huge budget to create one of the blandest R&B albums in recent memory.
But being boring is not the worst thing about the album. Writing an album of love songs when you’re on probation for beating your famous girlfriend is nothing short of hubris, and like most Greek heroes it’s also Brown’s fatal flaw. The cycle of domestic violence is marked by something that the domestic abuse community calls “the honeymoon phase.” It’s a period after a violent outburst that is marked by apologies and promises that it will never happen again, or that the abuser will do his or her best to change. This album feels like Chris Brown’s musical equivalent of a honeymoon phase, except for the fact that it’s completely remorseless.
Brown seems so determined to ignore his past crimes that his album comes across as brash at best and, at worst, insulting. The end result is retch-inducing lyrics set to a party beat.
Chris Brown may elicit more sympathy if he didn’t continue making headlines for his controversial behavior following the horrific 2009 incident. It seems every other day, he is into something else. Clearly from his Fortune record sales though, he still has fans — probably an equal amount as the people who don’t like him. For her part, Rihanna never seemed to hate him for what he did, but maybe she found it easy to quickly forgive him because so much of the public clearly hasn’t.
What do you think of these Chris Brown Fortune reviews? Do you think it’s time to review his music without bringing up the Rihanna incident?
Follow Alissa on Twitter @AlissaInPink
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