Music Review: Chris Brown's "Graffiti"

12/06/2009 Posted by Admin

Music Review

Chris Brown's "Grafitti"

By our guest blogger, Sanela Djokovic

So much for the Chris Brown boycott. With the first two singles off of Chris Brown’s third album, "Graffiti" ( "I Can Transform Ya" and "Crawl") gaining more steam than expected so soon after the revelation of Brown’s personal problems, it proves that people are not only open to the 20-year-old star, but that they actually still like him. They still want to see the kid they remember busting with talent and charisma. "Graffiti" is a decent follow-up to Brown's explosive "Exclusive," but it does not have the stamina of its predecessor.

Brown, who co-wrote 12 of the 13 tracks on "Graffiti," sticks with his usually patterned track list, including fiery hip-hop influenced numbers, crooning ballads and buoyant dance tracks. While this assortment has worked for him in the past, it seems less complete throughout this album. This is probably because some of the songs simply miss the mark. "What I Do," which features Plies, is an attempt to project a more mature sound, but is more like a forgettable, continual drone. "Take My Time," which features Tank, tries to build on the fire of "Take You Down," with its sexual nature, but is not nearly as good. The female moans and groans at toward the end?  We can do without them.

"Graffiti" still has a nice energy to it, with Brown delivering a few tracks that definitely can lift a crowd up. Along with the lead single, "I Can Transform Ya," a collaborative effort that includes Trey Songz and Game entitled "Wait" features Brown's hard-edge, quick-spitting side, with Songz and Game offering a fresh touch. On top of that, Brown gives us spirited, "Forever"-inspired dance tracks such as "I.Y.A.", and "Pass Out," which features Eva Simons--and which includes a sample of Stevie Winwood’s "Valerie."

Brown proves to be most effective singing mid- to low-tempo numbers that try to rebuild the sincerity that once was his trait.  The sweet-sounding, piano-driven “So Cold” is a sugary apology and whether it is earnest or not, is not really apparent or important.

"Falling Down" seems to be the biggest achievement on the list as it has an extremely attractive melody. "Lucky Me" also exhibits a considerable sense of growth, in sound more than content. He sings “Lights on, stage set/ I guess I gotta put on a show again.” And Brown does manage to put on a good show again, even if it doesn’t live up to his other work. The lyrical content does address personal issues, walking the thin line between regret and self-pity, but the album is most enjoyable stripped of all its implications.

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