Likes: Don’t Judge Me, 4 Years Old
Overall: Mostly a shallow album with little substance
As an artist, Chris Brown refuses to grow up or develop and it’s just frustrating. “Fortune” is definitely a follow up to “F.A.M.E.,” as it has almost the same amount of ordinary production and pointless lyrics. Whether it’s a pop or a hip-hop/R&B track, it’s all musically predictable and over-simplified. Synths, abused auto-tune and techno backdrop for the pop songs, repetitive drum patterns for the hip-hop/R&B. Brown is still unconvincing as a proficient rapper on “Bassline” and “Till I Die.” Lyrically, it’s more of the same cocky, immature, locker-room male bravado (I’ve had to use “locker-room” a lot lately to describe male R&B, sadly) and more expletives than I would care to hear within Brown’s genre. On the latter half of the album is a string of slower-tempo sexual songs that are supposed to be arousing, but they fail to stimulate as they’re annoyingly uncreative. Tracks like “2012” and “Biggest Fan” use the typical “I’m gonna go deep, make your knees weak, you’re gonna shake and scream and I’ll compare your bodily lubrication to rain or something damp in nature” formula. “Sweet Love” channels Trey Songz, a Brown contemporary. “Don’t Judge Me” and “Stuck on Stupid” are relieving with more interesting lyrics and a pleasant melody. 3 years away from his first decade in music with 5 albums, I expect some more sophistication and a few timeless tracks. An album sampler is below.