Chris Brown’s ‘Fortune’ Reviews Are In: What the Critics Are Saying

Chris Brown Brawl Fallout
Will the club be shut down?
The reviews are in for Chris Brown’s fifth studio album, “Fortune” — and many are, ironically, unfortunate.

Brown’s seven-year career has seen chart-topping highs — No. 1 singles, four best-selling albums, a Grammy win— but reputation-ruining personal lows, from a 2009 assault against then-girlfriend Rihanna to a recent Manhattan nightclub brawl with Young Money artist Drake.

So after his 2011 game-changer, “F.A.M.E.” — an acronym for “forgiving all my enemies” — can the ever-embattled Breezy exceed expectations with his new beats?

Celebuzz has compiled a list of reviews to see if his new 14-track album, released on June 29, lives up to its hype.

According to the L.A. Times, Brown’s record feels “fresh in July 2012” but “stamped with a ‘use by’ date. This is due mostly to Brown’s reflex of curbing his creative impulses at nearly every turn, with a few killer exceptions, and showing a conservatism unbecoming such a self-styled renegade.”

The Washington Post agrees that Brown’s new release is filled with familiar, commercial tracks of electro-pop, dance and R&B. “’Fortune’ is no ‘F.A.M.E’ — it sounds like it, sure, but doesn’t move Brown to any new ground musically.”

And unlike the reflective tunes of R&B lothario Usher, Brown’s “album doesn’t resolve, or even ask, any of the fascinating questions about what makes Brown tick,” according to Entertainment Weekly. “‘Fortune’…furthers the uncomfortable and frustrating disconnect between Brown’s hotheaded personal life and his oddly edgeless musical persona.”

Not only is Brown’s creativity critiqued, but some commentators take aim at his lacking lyrics. The Huffington Post comments on the “juvenile” sound of Brown’s track “2012”: “It’s supposed to be sexy, but it comes across like something you’ll hear in a fitting room at Marshall’s.” Billboard adds that the track “Biggest Fan” is the “ickiest sex jam yet…the opening alone crossing the TMI line.”

Luckily for Brown, some reviewers managed to find a few bright spots in his mix of club bangers and soul-bearing ballads.

The album’s “most adventurous sections…leap on the dubstep bandwagon,” according to the New York Daily News. “They move Brown one step from the giddy dance-pop style influenced by David Guetta on his last album, 2011’s ‘Fame,’ and one step closer to Skrillex’s disruptive approach to club music. It’s a style that, in the last year, has intrigued stars all the way from Korn to Justin Bieber.”

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