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Album Review: “X” by Chris Brown

Source: RCA Records

Originally slated to release in July 2013, Chris Brown’s sixth studio album, X, is finally out and it’s not impressive.

The troublesome singer who has been in the spotlight for his legal troubles ever since the assault incident with ex-girlfriend Rihanna, has released his long-awaited album which is dark, unimaginative and impersonal.

Perhaps the most noteworthy characteristic of the album is its lack of depth and personality. Though X sounds like a dark album, Brown fails to put a face to the voice on each track which makes listeners feel distant and unaware of who he is. Brown sheds from giving listeners a deeper look into his struggles while lamenting about screwing women who are screwing him over.

Though the album’s debut single, “Loyal,” featuring Lil Wayne and Tyga lingered in the top 10 on the pop and R&B charts, it’s evident that the tracks were produced by a variety of different producers, include overwhelming collaborations that stand out more than Brown himself and is rough mix of many genres. The album’s disorganized and uniform lacking production puts it all over the map with its nonexistent cohesive sound. 

Unfortunately for Brown, features like that of Usher, Trey Songz and R. Kelly followed on the first half. Kendrick Lamar goes hard on the track, “Autumn Leaves” and stands out more than Brown does on a record that isn’t even his. Brandy lends her vocals on “Do Better” while Lil Wayne and Tyga make themselves known on the only successful single to come from the album, “Loyal.”

However, Brown’s skill is proven by his impressive vocal range, though in a day and age where music fans take pride in personally connecting with their favorite artists, Brown’s failure to define his persona through his music by remaining distant, especially in X, makes it an easy-to-forget album, perhaps we will all soon forget even existed.

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