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21 - 27 July , 2012
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Fortune
Chris Brown
Chris Brown's last album, 2011's F.A.M.E., debuted at the top of the US chart. This one, Fortune, has already spawned a UK number one single called Turn Up The Music. Even Rihanna seems to have forgiven him – controversially, she recruited her ex to appear on a recent remix. If she's let him off the hook, it seems the pop-buying public have done likewise. The tricky question to answer is: why is he enjoying such success? Brown dances like a dream, but on record he's no firecracker, and neither is he the sharpest operator in pop. Recent hits have tended to be club bangers, like Turn Up The Music; but Fortune has just one more of these – Don't Wake Me Up, which sounds like a smash. Elsewhere, Fortune delivers unremarkable mid-tempo RnB. There's the occasional glimpse of something interesting, but most of the time, his producers are content to keep things contemporary but colourless. Brown is invariably upstaged by guest rappers like Nas and Wiz Khalifa, and though he receives a writing credit on every track, he has very little to say. Aside from some gag-reflex-inducing lyrics, Fortune just feels cripplingly pointless; a problem highlighted by a song called Don't Judge Me. From Chris Brown, that's a provocative but potentially interesting title.

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