Review - Chris Brown - Fortune (Deluxe Edition)
Love him or hate him, Chris Brown has (more or less) usually delivered when it came to his albums. Most of them have been received fairly well by most critics, and his last effort ‘F.A.M.E.’ even won him his first Grammy (which may or may not be deserved, but we won’t get into that). If nothing else, they usually have a few singles on them that find their way up the charts and push the album into gold status at least.
‘Fortune’ (which follows ‘F.A.M.E.’, how appropriate) follows only one of these rules. The album has thus far (before it has even been released) had four singles released, only one of them making it anywhere really noticeable. The lead single “Turn Up The Music” started at #10 after a big Grammy performance, but it quickly found its way down, and wasn’t a big hit after all. The song is a four-on-the-floor dance jam that, I must admit, really gets me. Much as it is typical of the dance-pop genre in terms of lyrics, altered vocals, etc., it works.
Next come two slower, R&B tracks that give you a taste of what the album is like. “Sweet Love” and “Till I Die (ft. Big Sean and Wiz Khalifa)” didn’t chart well (#s 89 and 106 respectively), but now you know what most of ‘Fortune’ sounds like. Brown and his producers spent their extra time (the album was supposed to come out only six or seven months after ‘F.A.M.E.’, but it was pushed back for about another five or six) crafting R&B that tries to be something different. Doing the same old slow crooning just doesn’t cut it anymore, and most of the pop/R&B world has realized this.
The one exception is the only other dance attempt on the album – the previously reported David Guetta collab (later proven to be Benny Benassi and William Orbit) “Don’t Wake Me Up”. The song has already performed poorly in the US (peaking at #89), but it is a top ten smash in many other places around the world. Orbit supplies the guitar bits, and Benassi pulls it together by powering up the chorus to an undeniably-dancey place and autotuning Brown’s vocals unapologetically. Easly my favorite track on the album.
While I always applaud anyone trying to shake up a genre and do something new, I don’t know that I can give Brown my seal of approval here. ‘Fortune’ is, after everything, kind of just…boring. Too many songs about the same song with little variation in lyrics and very little to choose from in terms of a next single. You know how they say “the sum of the parts is greater than the whole”? Well for ‘Fortune’, I think the music is greater than the whole. I’ll do without the rest.
Listen to: "Turn Up The Music", "Remember My Name (ft. Sevyn)", "Wait For You", and "Don't Wake Me Up"