Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Chris Brown's Exclusive starts off very amateurish but does come into its own for the most part. Outside of the go-go inspired Throwed, I think he hesitated a great deal to push the boundaries with this album. Fear of not wanting to alienate his younger fanbase plays a major part I think. As he grows older he also needs to evolve as an artist instead of taking steps backward, which is exactly what I think was the case here. His 2005 debut was cleverly crafted together with fun and catchy R&B. His up-tempo joints on the new cut fail to emphasise the edgy, outstanding rawness that could once be heard in previous hits. If Chris wants to stay in the game for many years to come like his idol Michael Jackson, he can't just put out a mediocre/decent album, he has to put out an outstanding one. Still, you can't forget how he electrified the pop scene two years ago. Chris is young and oozes lots of talent but there's always room for improvement. He's a wonderful performer but he can't rely on a couple of enchanting footwork to pave the way. Musically, he needs to bring the heat.

Vocally, I'm not hearing much advancement. The music just doesn't represent that much maturity (not so much the lyrics but the actually quality). Wall to Wall is so damn cheesy, it practically gives Big Macs a run for its money, although some of his lyrics do have the obvious ripeness regarding sex and relationships. Take You Down being one of them. I practically had a brain orgasm after FINALLY hearing this song in full and high quality. The wait was worthwhile. In fact, if his whole album was mainly based around that vibe, his CD would have been flawless (Mario Barrett is killing the competition on that front). I think Take You Down (as well as You) are brilliant due to the Prince resonance. But I also love the electrified guitar during the breakdown which brings more immensity and greatness to the track. The Stargate-produced With You (which is the next single) is part of the poppy acoustic Beyonce-ala-Irreplaceable poison that's consistently plaguing many of today's R&B singers. How unfortunate. And as generic as some of the songs are, this track certainly didn't need to make the cut.

The album sees many contributions in top producers such as Kanye West,, Timbaland, the Underdogs, and Bryan Michael Cox and your not-so-talented producers such as Stargate and T-Pain. For the most part, Exclusive is pretty heartening once you get stuck in. It's nowhere near as terrible as I expected but it's not all that memorable either. Out of the variety, I'll never understand why they chose to release Wall to Wall as the lead single. Talk about career suicide. Then they tried to play it off as it being just a 'buzz' track with 'Kiss Kiss' being introduced as the official first single. I am glad it's doing extremely well on the charts. It may even have saved the album in fact. My standouts tracks would have to be Take You Down of course, You, Damage and I Wanna Be. Those are getting heavy spins on my part. Exclusive drops next week Tuesday (Nov 6th). If you want to see him do strong numbers in his first week, be sure to cop it.

Rating: 3/5

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posted by Toya @ 6:58 PM  

Name: Toya
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