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Chris Brown, ‘Fortune’ – Album Review

After months of delays, Chris Brown has finally released his fifth studio album ‘Fortune.’ The collection is another feather in the singer’s cap of a successful comeback year that includes winning a golden gramophone at the 2012 Grammy Awards for Best R&B Album (‘F.A.M.E.’). If all goes well, he could repeat with ‘Fortune’ at the 2013 ceremony in February.

The 14-track album (19 on the deluxe album) boasts a healthy mix of club bangers and soft ballads. The array of producers and songwriters who contributed on the project help give Brown a rich and diverse sound.

One of the big standouts on the ‘Fortune’ LP is the song ‘Don’t Judge Me,’ in which Brown digs into his inner self and asks for forgiveness. He pleads to his new lover to not focus on his past relationship troubles but on the future. Listeners will definitely think Brown is talking about his infamous 2009 incident in which he assaulted his ex-girlfriend Rihanna.

Elsewhere on the album, Breezy is on the prowl looking for his next sexual conquest. Songs like ’2012,’ ‘Biggest Fan’ and ‘Sweet Love,’ are all about sex and no romance (not even foreplay).

Brown is at his best when he wears his heart on his sleeve and shows his vulnerable side. On ’4 Years Old,’ he contemplates about the price of fame. On the two-minute interlude ‘Cadillac’ Brown gives his best vocal performance doo-wop singing about the wonderments of love. And ‘Free Run’ is an anthemic pop ballad that should do well on radio.

Chris Brown’s ‘Fortunate’ has plenty of highs and lows, but it’s a solid effort that should satisfied his Team Breezy family.

1. ‘Turn Up The Music’
Chris Brown kicks off the album with his high-energy dance anthem. [Watch the Video]

2. ‘Bassline’
On this dubstep-tinged single, Brown tries to convince a hot girl he spots in the club to come back to his crib. “Hey girl tell me what you talk / Pretty as a picture on the wall / Hey girl you can get it all / Cause I know you like the way the beat go,” he sings.

3. ‘Till I Die’ Feat. Big Sean & Wiz Khalifa
Produced by Danja, ‘Til I Die’ is an uptempo R&B track with arcade-game blips and martial drums. On the song, Breezy, Sean and Wizzy rap celebratory rhymes of partying and balling in the club. [Watch the Video]

4. ‘Mirage’ Feat. Nas
Produced by Chris Brown and Harmony, the sinister-sounding track finds Brown throwing up the deuces to an ungrateful ex-girlfriend. Nas comes through with a guest verse.

5. ‘Don’t Judge Me’
The song is a major standout on the album only because it alludes to Brown’s past relationship troubles, particularly his infamous 2009 incident in which he assaulted Rihanna. On the song, he’s asks his new lover to forget about the past and move on with the future. “I don’t wanna go there / We should never go there,” he sings.

6. ’2012′
Brown recalls a love-making session with his female lover on this sensual ballad and compares it to the apocalypse. Yeah, okay.

7. ‘Biggest Fan’
Produced by the Runners, this is probably Brown’s most raunchiest songs to date. On the track, Brown boasts about his sexual prowess and promises that he will have his female lover screaming like his biggest fan.

8. ‘Sweet Love’
Brown is beginning to sound like a broken record at this point. A great-sounding slow jam that is hampered by his yearning for a prospective lover to get butt naked for a late-night sex romp. Skip.

9. ‘Strip’ Feat. Kevin McCall
A song that originally appeared on Brown’s 2011 ‘Boy in Detention’ mixtape, the song is now a bonafide club hit. The song could have been omitted from this album, but as it stands, it’s a welcomed diversion. [Watch the Video]

10. ‘Stuck on Stupid’
On this anthemic pop ballad, Brown is head over heels in love and stuck on stupid. “I’ll be the best damn fool for you / No lie / You drive me crazy all time,” he croons.

11. ’4 Years Old’
Produced by Polow da Don and Tommy Hittz, the acoustic guitar-driven ballad finds Brown recalling his childhood and contemplating the price of fame: “Feels like I’m 4 years old all over again / Because I’m just running fast, I should be walkin’ / Saying when I grow up you gonna see, I’m gonna be comfortable and happy.”

12. ‘Party Hard/Cadillac’ (Interlude) Feat. Sevyn
Brown gives us two pop songs in one with ‘Cadillac’ being the standout between the two. The latter song is a duet with Sevyn and features doo-wop singing, finger snaps and a great vocal performance from Brown. Thumbs up.

13. ‘Don’t Wake Me Up’
Brown teams up with ‘Beautiful People’ producers Benny and Alle Benassi for this fist-pumping club jam that boasts acoustic guitars and charging synths. Not as catchy as ‘Beautiful People,’ but it is capable of setting the dancefloors ablaze with its pulsating beats. [Watch the Video]

14. ‘Trumpet Lights’ Feat. Sabrina Antoinette
An EDM-pop song that is most likely geared for his younger fan base who go to rave parties. It’s certainly one of his most adventurous tracks on the album but not an enjoyable listen.

**Deluxe Edition Tracks**

15. ‘Tell Somebody’
Produced by Polow da Don, the song has a Prince-feel to it as Brown sings to a beautiful woman that he spots in the club and wants to take home. He sings, “And turn the lights down low girl / Cause you know I be waiting on you / Hold me close girl, I’m a show you I got something prove / So go ahead tell all your girls / Yeah you tell em that I put it down.

16. ‘Free Run’
A great ballad from Brown as he yearns for the love of a faraway lover. “I’ll listen close for you / I don’t wanna miss the goodbyes / I’m on my way to you / And no one will keep me from you,” he sings.

17. ‘Remember My Name’ Feat. Sevyn
Brown is singing in the name of love on this dance-pop song. “I need my kiss, but your lips are far away / So I have no choice, so I guess I’ll have to stay and love away,” he croons.

18. ‘Wait for You’
On this synth-heavy uptempo ballad, Brown is serenading a female that catches his eye.

19. ‘Touch Me’ Feat. Sevyn
Another one of Brown’s sex-drenched songs that’s perfect for the bedroom. If you like Breezy when he’s seductive, this track is for you.

Watch the Chris Brown ‘Don’t Wake Me Up’ Video

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