One of the most striking elements of teenager Chris Brown is his amiable persona while remaining focused and devoted to his craft. "Wall to Wall," the transparent effort to repeat the success of Brown's #1 smash first single "Run It!" stiffed early in the year stoking fears that Chris Brown would be stopped by a sophomore curse. Fear not, "Wall to Wall" is one of the weakest tracks and there are tunes here to savor.
Focus on His Young Audience
In interviews Chris Brown frequently speaks about keeping an eye on the wishes of his audience when putting together new music. Recognizing a huge portion of his core fans are young girls, Exclusive is an admirably clean record that is unlikely to raise any fears from parents concerned about content. However, he does not sacrifice anything in utilizing the talents of a wide range of today's top r&b producers and songwriters. Chris Brown's music makes it abundantly clear that explicit sexual and drug content is not a requirement for a hit record.
While, at 16 tracks, Exclusive is a bit overlong, hooks fly fast and furious throughout this record. "Kiss Kiss," the current hit single featuring everyone's go-to singer T-Pain, includes a "lovey dovey" chorus that will make all but the most hardhearted pop fans smile. "Down," produced by Kanye West, features Kanye's inimitable mix of humor, celebration, and braggadocio in advising young Chris Brown how to avoid those gold diggers.
Fans of Beyonce's smash B-Day may recognize some sounds here. The Stargate-produced "With You" borrows the instrumental context of "Irreplaceable," and the beat structure of "I'll Call Ya" will bring immediate comparisons to "Get Me Bodied." However, both are infused enough with Chris Brown's unique performing persona that he manages to make both songs his own.
Top Tracks On Album
- Kiss Kiss
- With You
- Gimme Whatcha Got
- I'll Call Ya
Chris Brown Is Here to Stay
With "Kiss Kiss" riding the top of the pop charts and Chris Brown's bravura performance at this year's MTV Video Music Awards fresh in everyone's mind, any fears of a sophomore jinx are likely unfounded. This is a solid effort significantly more mature than Brown's self-titled debut. These songs will only be enhanced when he has the chance to take them live and add his dance talents to the mix. Chris Brown is clearly an artist who plans to be around for a while.