Chris Brown – 'Fortune'
by Sharon O'Connell
‘Don’t Judge Me’ pleads one title, but it’s a little late for that. This ballad has Brown begging his new squeeze to ignore his sexual misdemeanours, because they occurred before he knew he was in love with her (aw, shucks), but he was soundly judged in 2009 and sentenced to five years’ probation, one year of domestic violence counselling and six months’ community service for an assault on his then girlfriend, Rihanna.
The charge sheet for this fifth album includes unoriginality, a tedious obsession with ‘sexing’ and porn-cliché explicit lyrics (‘I like the way it opens up when you throw your head back… you’re telling me to go deeper, go deeper’) of an eye-watering misogyny.
The music cherry-picks production tropes from the likes of Kanye, Diplo and David Guetta, adding no notes of originality and the most successful tracks (’Bassline’, ‘Trumpet Lights’) are those that recall Rihanna’s zeitgeist-grabbing ‘Rated R’ album. Oh, the irony.