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Chris Brown’s ‘Graffiti’ Disappoints

After garnering much public speculation, Chris Brown released the much anticipated Graffiti just weeks after Rihanna’s Rated R and only a few months after the controversial assault charge that sent waves through the legions of both Rihanna and Chris Brown fans alike. Though early statements by Brown reported “a great response” from fans, Graffiti is largely a hit or miss album, and does not contend with the appeal of his previous Exclusive that put out hit after hit and garnered crowds of screaming fans.

Brown attempts to take on a more mature sound with the new album, branching out into more new-wave electric beats and even rock riffs behind his usual R&B sound. The electronic sound comes off as catchy and upbeat in the tracks “I.Y.A” and “Pass Out,” bringing out the strong, smooth voice that Brown is known for. Unfortunately, many of the other tracks like “What It Do,” “Famous Girl,” and “Pass Out” fail to follow suit with an electric, auto-tuned sound that becomes monotonous and just plain boring. The constant repetitions of the lyrics coupled with empty beats are unremarkable and are doubtful to make any headlines.

Brown also branches out into more rock beats in “I Can Transform Ya,” and while catchy it lacks enough of Chris Brown’s talented voice to be remembered as one of his greatest hits. Despite the loss of his signature charm, it is likely to get the most radio play along with “Crawl,” the track on the album most true to his famous voice, and “Wait,” featuring Trey Songz and the Game, the most upbeat and original of all the tracks.

He includes two other ballads titled “Lucky Me” and “I’ll Go” that reveal a greater sense of honesty than the typical lyrics presented in the more upbeat tracks. Brown references and alludes to the Rihanna incident many times throughout the album yet there seem to be contradictory messages of accusation and forgiveness.

Overall, Chris Brown’s album largely fails to impress with its repetitive phrases and lack of vocal diversity. While he may be able to gain a few radio hits with the more upbeat tracks, the lack of originality will leave audience empty-handed. Perhaps if Brown had waited longer to release Graffiti rather than distributing the album right after Rated R, he may have had a better chance at producing a top-rate R&B album rather than a jumble of electric beats and empty vocals.

Rating: C

Written by Megan Bernstein
Jan 12, 2010 at 10:09 PM

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