First he gave you F.A.M.E. and now Chris Brown is sharing his Fortune on his fifth album, in stores today. The R&B superstar follows up his Grammy-winning effort with a collection of electro-pop, dance, and R&B tracks featuring Nas, Big Sean, Wiz Khalifa, Kevin McCall, and Sevyn, plus the hit singles “Turn Up the Music” and “Till I Die.” Was Breezy able to win over his critics with his latest body of work? Find out below.
USA Today: Driving electronic grooves and hip-hop-fueled club jams will keep Brown on the radio all summer. Like him or not, he appeals to your urge to get up and move. 3.5/4
New York Daily News: While he originally conceived Fortune as an extension of F.A.M.E., the new album turns out to be a more exciting and varied work. The harder cuts have more force than anything in Brown’s past, the softer ones, more sweetness. 3/5
Los Angeles Times: In the search for great pop music that catches a glimpse of the future, Chris Brown’s new album, Fortune, is planted firmly in the here and now. A defiant, brash, glistening recording filled with state-of-the-art sounds and of-the-moment producers and songwriters, the album, while fresh in July 2012, feels stamped with a “use by” date. 2/4
Entertainment Weekly: Fortune‘s lyrics largely focus on his favored themes: clubbing, getting women to take off their clothes, and swagginess. Plenty of accomplished R&B lotharios tread that territory, but Brown lacks R. Kelly’s commitment to fantasy or Usher’s raw-nerve honesty. C-
The Washington Post: Fortune is no F.A.M.E.—it sounds like it, sure, but doesn’t move Brown to any new ground musically. The guy’s not afraid to take musical risks, but Fortune is a familiar mix of electro-pop, dance and R&B.
Chicago Tribune: Chris Brown’s fifth studio album, Fortune, is a pure-pop candy cane, meant to be enjoyed, consumed and forgotten. Thinking would ruin everything. At its best, it does its job very well—a mix of bangers and ballads as instant and insistent as anything on commercial radio. 2/4
The Boston Globe: Fortune is full of some of the most boilerplate R&B and urban pop to have been released this year. Strip away the million-dollar beats and the star cameos (including rappers Nas and Wiz Khalifa) and the album, his fifth in seven years, rings jarringly hollow.
Newsday: Fortune shows so much of the musical growth that his fans had long been expecting. Brown’s range has widened significantly, able to vocally tackle a straight-up R&B ballad like “Sweet Love” as well as the club anthems like “Turn Up the Music” that have been filling the charts. B
Rap-Up’s Favorite Tracks: “Bassline,” “Till I Die,” “Mirage,” “Don’t Wake Me Up”