Chris Brown's music may have been overshadowed by various incidents in his private life over the last few years, but the 21-year old singer-songwriter is back on track with his new album, F.A.M.E - an acronym for it's title, Forgiving All My Enemies.
MTV UK had an exclusive first listen to the LP - which already boasts singles Deuces, No Bulls**t, Yeah 3x and his passionate feature on Chipmunk's hit song Champion - and after having a taster we think Breezy's cooked up a winner.
With collaborations from the likes of Justin Bieber, Ludacris and Lil Wayne, Chris proves he is a force to be reckoned with as he explores many different genres - from euro-pop and dance to classic R&B ballads, reminiscent of the likes of 90's crooners Joe, Donnell Jones and Jodeci - with love and women being prominent themes.
F.A.M.E contains an impressive 18 songs and for those who may have written Chris Brown off, his latest record proves that Breezy is most definitely back…
Chris Brown - F.A.M.E Track By Track
F.A.M.E opens with this slow, down-tempo R&B track as Breezy teams up with Tyga and Kevin McCall to tell the story of a failed relationship. The song is also a good platform for Brown to show off his silky-smooth vocals. Co-written by Chris and produced by McCall, the track has already proved to be a hit, even landing a Grammy nomination at this year’s ceremony.
2. Up 2 You
Produced by The Underdogs, Chris is well and truly in his comfort zone with this R&B ballad. Following on from the break-up theme, this tune reminds us of a record Usher may have recorded as Chris powers his way through the heartfelt song. The partnership between Breezy and The Underdogs proves to be a good one, bringing an old-school feel to this very current track.
3. No Bullsh**t
No Bs sees Breezy teaming up with McCall again on another R&B tune with a classic 90s feel. This bump'n'grind like song, produced by Tha Bizness, is reminiscent of the tunes that the likes of Jodeci and Joe were making back when sexy R&B music was in its prime.
4. Look At Me Now
Breezy has recruited the help of Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne on this uptempo dance-floor filler, with Brown showing off his rapping skills. Produced by AfroJack, Free School and Diplo - who has also worked with the likes of M.I.A.- the tune boasts a heavy baseline, and is one of the standout tracks on the LP with its unforgettable beats.
5. She Ain't You
Another ballad from Mr. Brown which samples Michael Jackson's hit Human Nature and uses the drums from SWV's Right Here - giving the tune an instant eighties feel. The samples are pretty much unchanged, with Chris tweaking his lyrics to fit the melody. Chris is obviously influenced by the late King of Pop, and this tune is a fitting tribute to MJ.
6. Say It With Me
In this fast-paced track with a dance feel, Chris revisits his rapping on this future anthem - which is sure to get all you Breezy fans out there throwing some shapes on the dance floor. Co-written by the man himself and produced by Harmony, the song wouldn’t look out of place on a Justin Timberlake record with its high-pitched chorus.
7. Yeah 3x
This track has already taken the charts by storm on both sides of the Atlantic and still remains one of our favourite tracks on F.A.M.E. With its electro-pop feel and catchy lyrics, you can’t help but singalong to this Brown co-written tune, produced by DJ Frank E.
8. Next To You
It seems that everything Justin Bieber touches turns to gold at the moment and this cutesy ballad is no exception. We love the interaction between the Biebster and Breezy on this The Messinger produced tune, showing how well the pair’s voices blend together. As they sing about their love for a lucky girl, this tune totally has the “Awwwww factor”. Perhaps the most 'pop' song on the LP, we are hoping Chris decides to make this a single… a sure fire hit.
9. All Back
After the fab Bieber collaboration, Chris delivers yet another heartfelt song. Showing off his range and vocal ability, especially on the epic chorus. The song tells the story of a lost love and leaves Brown’s sensitive side exposed. The track has a rock ballad feel, particularly with the star’s raw vocals and prominent guitar throughout.
10. Wet The Bed
We have to admit we were rather apprehensive of this Bigg D produced track after seeing its title, and with Ludacris opening the song with the line “Hear the sound of your body drip/ As I kiss both sets of lips”, I suppose you could say we weren’t wrong. Not our favourite song on the LP, this graphic tune sees Breezy exploring ways to er, leave a woman satisfied. We will leave the rest up to your imagination…
11.Oh My Love
Chris picks up the pace on this uptempo tune and sees him teaming up with producers Harmony again. This energetic tune has an Usher-like feel and sees Breezy revisit his rapping - proving that he can definitely give most MCs a run for the money. With its banging beats and unforgettable chorus, we want more!
12. Should’ve Kissed You
It seems even Chris has trouble with the ladies sometimes, exposing his “goofy” side on this Brain Kennedy and T-Wiz track. In a stark contrast to Wet The Bed (yep, we still can’t believe the song is called that either), Breezy sings about his failed attempts to kiss a girl. Not the most memorable ballad on the album, but very cute and shows a more affectionate side to Brown.
13. Beautiful People
Perhaps the most surprising track on F.A.M.E, Beautiful People sees Chris teaming up with DJ extraordinaire Benny Bennassi (the man behind hit tune Satisfaction) on this Euro-pop inspired tune. Yep, you read correctly, Euro-pop. Brown’s vocals are unrecognisable on this Ibiza-dance scene floor filler, which you can’t help but move to. It’s already being lined-up to be Breezy’s next single, so expect to hear it at a club near you very soon.
Brown explores yet another genre on this tune with Wiz Khalifa, this time delivering a more Reggae inspired record. Produced by Free School, it is reminiscent of something Beanie Man may have recorded. With its feel-good carnival ambiance, we can’t help but tap our toes to this – making it one of F.A.M.E’s standout tracks.
15. Love Them Girls
Chris has recruited the help of The Game on this Polow Da Don produced tune, which is definitely one of the darker, more sinister tracks on the album. Arguably the most hip-hop inspired song, Breezy leaves the rapping to Game this time, who delivers a typically gritty verse.
16. Paper, Scissors, Rock
This track sees Breezy teaming up with Big Sean and Timbaland – whose recognisable beats can be heard throughout on this pop-meets-R&B tune. For those who might not be Timbaland’s biggest fan, the song has a heavy baseline and catchy chorus and sees Chris bringing something different to your normal Timbaland produced tune - we think it’s definitely worth checking out.
17. Beg For It
After memorable ballads like Next 2 You, All Back and She Ain’t You, this slow jam feels a lot like some of the other tunes on F.A.M.E, but just not as memorable. Produced by Stereotypes and co-written by Chris, this is another song about a girl and having sex… an obvious theme throughout the album.
Even though we are all familiar with Chris’ powerful collaboration with our very own Chipmunk, here at MTV we are still huge fans of the song. It sees Breezy at his most passionate and displaying raw-emotion in his self-penned rapped verse. Claiming that it’s the “realest s**t he ever wrote”, the song addresses his assault on ex-girlfriend Rihanna and obviously means a lot to Brown. Breezy and Chipmunk appear to be a winning team and we can see why the tune has been a huge hit in the UK.
Chris Brown’s F.A.M.E is released on 22nd March.
By Joanne Dorken
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