Likes: “Say it With Me,” “Next To You,”
Dislikes: “Look At Me Now,” She Ain’t You”
Overall: This album is good for the demographic it targets. Not my preferred brand of male R&B. If you like today’s R&B/pop, you’ll find some tracks to enjoy.
For Chris Brown’s fourth album, “F.A.M.E. (Forgive All My Enemies),” he delivered what was expected. If you’re 14-20, that’s a good thing. If you’re a little older, that might not be so great. Brown serves up, as anticipated, techno-dance tracks laced with noticeable auto-tune (the sound that has infiltrated mainstream music; “Oh My Love”, “Say it With Me”, “Yeah 3x”, “Beautiful People”), faux baby-makers on “Wet the Bed” and “ No B.S.” (I say “faux baby-makers” because their supposed to be romantic, but they’re not due to the cheap, locker-room bantered lyrics) and lazy production (“She Ain’t You”- Brown sings different lyrics on top of the SWV’s “Right Here” track), with a few relationship-related songs in between. For people like myself, that prefer more mature male R&B that isn’t designed to attract adolescents and the early 20’s crowd (ex. Anthony Hamilton, Robin Thicke), it may be hard to appreciate “F.A.M.E.” I honestly had a hard time listening to most of the tracks in their entirety. The only reason I did was because I don’t think it’s fair to write a review without listening to the whole piece. In addition, Brown still sounds like a teenager vocally, which could also be a deterrent for a slightly older audience.
“Next to You” was pleasant and lyrically acceptable, but it was awkward hearing teen sensation Justin Bieber on the song because of the maturity level of the lyrics. Also, it was annoying to catch the blatant gimmick that was adding Bieber to the song, but Chris has nothing to do with that idea, record label execs do, so I won’t fault him for that. “Should’ve Kissed You” would be a more lyrically appropriate song for Beiber; the content was achingly immature for Brown. On “Look at Me Now,” Brown is laughable as a rapper (Busta Rhymes saves that track, in my opinion) and after hearing the finisher, “Beautiful People,” I was intrigued to find out more about featured artist Benny Benassi (I liked his voice). On another tip, the material on “F.A.M.E” has nothing to do with fame or its acronym, which is…confusing and annoying.
Like I mentioned above, this album is good for the demographic it targets. It’s very contemporary and current. Brown’s fanbase should be pleased with it, which, I suppose is all that matters.