Back in February 2009 when Chris Brown beat up his then-girlfriend, superstar singer Rihanna, it seemed like he had dug his career a hole that it might never be rescued from. But by working hard and staying on the grind, Chris started easing his way back into the public's good graces during the second half of 2010. And although his new album, F.A.M.E., doesn't elevate him back to the level of popularity that he'd held during his pre-controversy days, it definitely helps his cause. Love him or hate him, F.A.M.E., released on March 22, 2011, shows that Chris Brown is back. And he just might be here to stay.
Usually when an artist goes out of their way to try pleasing everyone on an album, then that artist fails. But on F.A.M.E.
, Chris Brown tries out a wide variety of musical styles, and wins every time. Whether it's break-up songs (the bitter, paranoid "Deuces"
) straightforward romantic tunes ("Up to You," >"She Ain't You") club bangers ("Look At Me Now"), sex jams ("No BS,"
"Wet the Bed") or heavily synthesized dance tunes ("Yeah 3x") Chris does an excellent job of adapting to and harnessing the music, but also making sure that the album's still consistent vocally and not meandering or unfocused.
The most interesting thing about the album is it's dark undertones. Chris knows that he can never get his squeaky clean image back and this, coupled with the fact that it's his first album since he turned 21 (he'll be 22 in May 2011) has led him to record a few songs on this album that have explicit, or harsh language. And perhaps coincidentally, these songs ("No BS" and "Deuces," in particular) are some of the album's best material. They're definitely head and shoulders above the safer, less turbulent material like "Next to You," which features Justin Bieber and the sappy "Should've Kissed You."
Some people will never forgive Chris for what he did to Rihanna, as is their right. But on F.A.M.E. (which stands for either "Forgiving All My Enemies" or "Fans Are My Everything," depending on whose explanation you believe) he shows that he has no intention of hiding away in shame, and fully intends to keep working to win back old fans and make some new ones.