Chris Brown's sixth album, "X," is a tardy attempt at redemption.
Sometimes one song can set the precedence for an albumâs entirety and Chris Brownâs opening title-track, X does just that. The Diplo-produced, hip-hop/EDM comprised record symbolizes Brownâs back and forth attempt at being an R&B, hip-hop, pop and dance music star.The song starts off slow and then builds up to an uptempo dance record filled with egotistical lyrics.
The track begins with Brown playing the blame game, âIf youâre only as good as the company you keep/Then Iâm-a blame you for what they say about me.â Throughout the entire track,Â Brown plays the victim, while subtly affirming a few revelations. In the middle of the first verse, the âLoyalâ singer accepts responsibility for his downfall.
âI can make you a believer if I turn the nonsense down.â That line could easily be about Brown attempting to convince people that he has grown and evolved since his 2009 assault of Rihanna. If he stops the self-sabotaging then perhaps people can begin to believe in Brown, the way that he believes in himself. With a hook like, âI swear to God/Iâm moving on/I ainât going back no more,â it seems as if Brown struggles to be vulnerable and dresses up his real life afflictions as songs about problematic love affairs that need to end.
There are songs on the 17-track album like âSongs On 12 Play,â a weak attempt at paying homage to R. Kelly, who is also featured on the delayed album. The-Dream made the same attempt on his 2009 released Love vs. Money album with âKellyâs 12 Play.â For someone who needs to revamp his tarnished image, itâs asinine to collaborate with and pay homage to a man whose image is more questionable than yours.
Unlike Brownâs previous projects, X has a handful of collaborations with femaleÂ artists. Insert Brandy on the girl vs. boy âDo Better,â Jhene Aiko on the boozy âDrunk Texting,â and Nicki Minaj on the radio-ready âLove More."
Brown seeks redemption on the duet with Brandy. âItâs like I canât get out of my own way,â he sings on the passionate yet solemn track. This is another line that could easily be applicable to Brownâs life and image.
The most promising track on the album is Brownâs vulnerable and dark âAutumn Leaves,â which features Kendrick Lamar, who seems to give Brown advice on how to remain steadfast in the midst of his mishaps.
âWhen you make mistake the most, the most/One day itâll make you grow, you grow/When you outlandish and you lose manners/To God you shall consult, consult,â the TDE artist spits. âWhen the bright cameras are still cramming/In your face and it provoke, provoke/You to act manic, just stay planted/Cause you reapinâ what you sowed/Keep positivity in your heart and keep a noose from âround your throat.â
Had Breezy stuck to more ambitious tracks like this versus filler songs to appease to his pop/dance audience, X would have been more than just solid.