I'm a big fan and believer still in Chris Brown. In spite of his mistakes, I've always admired his incredible talent, so I've been waiting for his new album  "X" for quite some time. Released today, September 16, this is Chris' sixth studio album, and he definitely gives Team Breezy a lot of great tracks.

In a past interview with Ebony, Chris explained the significance of the title:
It's the Roman numeral for 10. 5/5/89 is my birthday: 5 plus 5 is 10, and this is my tenth year since I got into music. 'X' is the 24th letter in the alphabet, and I will turn 24 when this album comes out. 'X' is also a metaphor, as in 'ex-girlfriend': it implies you're progressing and moving on in life, not holding on to the past and your old ways.
For the album, Chris has said that he was going for a more mature and soulful sound. He clearly incorporates his inspiration from his idol Michael Jackson, as well as Quincy Jones and Stevie Wonder. He mostly made that happen, though some tracks were off the mark. 

Check out my full review below!

“I can make you a believer, if I turn the nonsense down...I keep my secrets in a safehouse, better if I don't speak." The album appropriately starts with the track X,” in which Chris speaks directly to the media and his naysayers, as well as a mystery girl (hmm.), where he directly states that he's moving on, and won't let what anyone says about him destroy him. However, he realizes that he played a role by listening and continually lashing out (mostly on Twitter, as we all know), which didn't help his case. Now he's done with it all. 

"What if I said I loved you (love you baby), I need you? Would you care? So many things that I could learn, and baby if we do the math, it will equal up to me instead of him..." The uptempo Add Me In” is a fun track that has an old 70s upbeat feel, Using math metaphors, Chris speaks to a woman about "adding him in" to her equation, and that he will be a better solution than her current man. This is one song that I really hope he performs on tour! 

"Come on, come on, girl, why you fronting? Baby show me something. When I call her, she gon’ leave, and I bet that bottom dollar she gon’ cheat." “Loyal” feat. Lil WayneTyga has and continues to be a big hit since its release last December. It lacks any real substance, but many dance singles do, since they're just for the party. The hook and the beat are why it's become a big smash on urban radio. It's catchy, and it did well. And it's still on my workout playlist. After "Add Me In" though, it seems a little misplaced. You were just talking about love, and now you're claiming that these hoes ain't loyal. Big hit, but just misplaced on this album. 

"There can be one only you, and baby, God could never make two. And I know you came here with your crew, but I promise you that it feels like it's just us two..." Chris' most recent single New Flame” feat. UsherRick Ross is a chill, mellow track, a complete turnaround from "Loyal." Chris and Usher sing about finding love in the club (much like Usher's past hit song), sparking a new flame, and hoping to continue conversation and this new relationship in the future. I really like this one. 

"Cuz your body's calling me, and with your permission, let me start your ignition. Don't you know that you're reminding me of a song on 12 Play..." Chris continues to keep things nice and smooth with the sexy track “Songs On 12 Play” feat. Trey Songz. Throughout the song, the two artists sing about making love to their significant other, making reference to several popular R.Kelly songs, like "Bump & Grind," "Ignition," and "Fiesta." It's a very hot track that is reminiscent of 90's love songs for sure. Plus I always love when Chris and Trey collaborate. Their voices blend in perfectly together to me. 

"You got me doing 101 on the 101...don't go nowhere baby, don't you run. You got me doing 101 on the 101. Got me speeding for your love.101 (Interlude)” continues the slow and sexy groove that Chris has been on for the past couple of songs. The track is explicit, but sexy as hell!  I can't lie. My only complaint about this song is that it's not longer! It's always the interludes that keep 

"High heels and your red lips...it's Fahrenheit in here. And I can see a million ways for me to surfboard between your waves..." Just from R. Kelly being featured and the title itself, I knew that “Drown In It” was going to be another sex song. With lyrics like "flood the bed," and "my tongue writing you letters," it doesn't take a scientist to figure out what these singers are talking about. I secretly love songs that have metaphors, especially love songs. This song is NOT for the kids. At all.

"I know you need love, I'm tryna give it. And if you don't trust me, I'll show you I'm a man of my word, girl And if you're ready for the world, I'll give it to ya." Came To Do” feat. Akon takes the album back to a more up-tempo point, which I was happy about. Four sex songs in a row might have been too much! On the track, Chris and Akon sing to the ladies about how they'll be better men than their current love interests. It's an old topic, but the song is infectious and cool to dance to. It's nice to have some variation on the album, though.

"I thought you were different, now I see you're just like the rest. Thought you were different, my baby. You'd become my biggest regret." Stereotype” It has nice moments with the verses, but it's not my favorite song on the album. I don't like the autotune used especially on the hook. Maybe I'll warm up to it over time, but right now, it's probably one I'll skip over or barely listen to. 

"This won't be my last chance, so I'ma do whatever to get you out of here. So I'ma be smooth and clever. Let me get in your comfort zone." Time For Love” Mixing traces of pop and R&B, the song has a cool 80s vibe that I really like. I could see doing a little two step with a special guy to this track. 

"Since he broke your heart, girl, you say that you won't love again And you won't let hit stop girl, but we know in the end, you still dream..." Lady In a Glass Dress (Interlude)” is another song that I wish wasn't an interlude. As Chris sings to a brokenhearted girl who has sworn off love, calling her a "lady in a glass dress" is very appropriate. She's fragile and vulnerable because of her past relationship, but still, deep down, yearns for love. So many of us have been there. 

"I've been bleeding in your silence; I feel safer in your violence."  Chris shows a lot of  vulnerability on Autumn Leaves” feat. Kendrick Lamar. Chris sees that his relationship is slowly dying, but he's trying desperately to hold on. It's a beautiful song, and comparing the end of the relationship to autumn leaves was perfect imagery. Kendrick's verse on this song is pure poetry. Seriously. His talent as a lyricist shines on this song, reigning supreme over Chris' own verses. Definitely one of my favorites on this album.

"It's like I can't get out of my own way. You don't love me, you don't love me. If I knew better, I would do it better..." Do Better” is a collaboration between Chris and Brandy, and is a self-reflection of two ex-lovers, separately thinking of the part that they each played in the end of their relationship. Chris and Brandy's voices were perfect on this song, and, again, we see reflection on Chris' part, perhaps on one of his several breakups with Karrueche Tran

"Now that you're comfortable, I think that I'm losing my mind. It's crazy, cause we were so inseparable. Guess things change with time." See You Around” incorporates a bit of folk music, which is a different sound for Chris. He openly expresses his feelings about dealing with an ex-girlfriend moving on to another man, which, on the inside, is driving him crazy, but he's trying his best to be happy for her. 

"Pack me up and keep me hidden somewhere, that you can find me. On a train to Paris going nowhere, trouble is behind me." Don’t Be Gone Too Long” is an upbeat track that has Chris hoping to never split from his current love, because who will love him once she's gone? It's a track that I'm not in love with, but I do know that Ariana Grande is on another version of the song (the video came out a few days ago), so I'm going to to try to give it a chance. 

"Baby, let me set your body free, sun up to sun down. Kissing you, you kissing me.You know it's alright..."Body Shots” was another misplaced song on the album. This electronic track, in which Chris sings about doing body shots off girls, wasn't a great song in general. However, it really wasn't great after you have all of these reflective songs about your current and past relationships. Plus it's just not memorable.

"Just can't stop myself, so baby tonight I'm blowing up your line. I got you on my mind, and the truth is hard to find..When I saw that Jhene Aiko was featured on “Drunk Texting," I had to force myself not to skip directly to the end. Chris and Jhene's vocals blend nicely as they both sing about drunk texting   I don't drink and text, but if I was to ever do that, this song would be playing in the background, and I'd be singing to the top of my lungs. 

The deluxe version also features “Lost In Ya Love.” Love More” feat. Nicki Minaj, Don’t Think They Know” feat. Aaliyah and Fine China," three of which already came out as buzz singles for the album. 

I know his is a very long review, because this was a VERY long album. Even the standard version featured 17 tracks. The album could have easily been cut down some. It's about three or four tracks too long in my opinion. A few tracks should have been scrapped like "Stereotype," "Body Shots," maybe "Don't Be Gone Too Long," and yes, even "Drown In It." I have to say too, as catchy as "Loyal" is, it sticks out like a sore thumb on this project, and in a bad way.  However, overall, this album is very good. I hear a lot of growth between Fortune (his last album in 2012) and X. It's clear with this album, especially with the latter half, that over these recent years, and definitely more recent months, that Chris has been reevaluating his life, relationships, and career. Whether he'll stick to his decisions to do better, only time will tell, but it made for a great album. 

RATING: ★☆ (four out of five stars) 

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