Chris Brown Delivers Standout Hits On ‘X’
For the past 10 years, fans all around the world have literally watched Chris Brown grow from a boy into a man. Since launching his music career in 2004, the 25-year-old singer has maintained a steady career, releasing five chart-topping studio albums thus bringing us to his sixth studio effort, X. With a heap of relationship woes, stints in rehab and jail, legal battles and growing pains alon his musical journey, C. Breezy crafted up X to celebrate a decade in the music industry.
Now with an action-packed 10 years behind him, the reliable hitmaker seems to not only have continued to grow vocally, but he’s also managing to step up to the plate for all of his recent legal troubles. With Brown now openly admitting to wrongdoings, the singer opens up the album with the Diplo-produced title track, ”X.” In the song, Breezy speaks of maturing and accepts his role in recent events, over the soft beat before transitioning into a more up-tempo sound, eventually leading to the Michael Jackson-inspired track “Add Me In.” He does this for the bulk of the album; effortlessly intertwining R&B and EDM-inspired material, as he’s done in the past. X serves up a sound closely reminiscent to Brown’s other albums but as expected, the LP holds a leg up as life has lately thrown Chris a few curve balls to bring to the forefront.
Laced with a hefty amount of up-tempo and dance driven records, the production on X certainly alludes the project as a “feel-good” LP. Pairing record-breaking tunes like “Loyal,” with tracks like “Came To Do,” Breezy certainly masters the art of making an act that’s not so innocent sound overly enticing with help from producer Nic Nac. On this album, there’s certainly more of an R&B tone over other genres. Base heavy tracks like “Body Shots,” “Don’t Think They Know,” and “Songs On 12 Play,” certainly bring back that 1990s R. Kelly-esque feel, even calling for a feature from the genre legend on the woozy "Drown In It."
Breezy serves up an all-star roster of features on X. Tapping Kendrick Lamar for “Autumn Leaves,” the chemistry between the two on the track is undeniable. K Dot once again serves up an aggressive, emotional verse to remember and arguably the best rap verse on the album. He also includes his 2013 Nicki Minaj-assisted “Love More” on the deluxe version, which serves as a suitable runner-up. With several release adjustments due to legal standings, along with “Love More,” Breezy finds himself adding songs like "Fine China" and the Aaliyah-featuring "Don't Think They Know" that have long been on the airwaves.
Still, a song like his current single "New Flame" is a perfect way to sum up all aspects of the project. As the song represents love, dance and all that is prevalent on the album, it solidifies Breezy’s unquestionably cohesive song selection throughout the effort. For Brown, he's all about setting the mood and there's plenty of variety here for everyone.
X certainly proves that Chris Brown's talent will forever shine through over whatever troubles come his way. With that said, even though the final product comes after a string of problems, the album's mix of genres, producers and collaborators is sure to be another chart-topping effort for Breezy. It’s safe to say that Chris Brown will forever remain the consumer’s guilty pleasure.—Miranda Johnson