It's hard to find an album like Chris Brown's latest release, Graffiti.
To make such awful music, one really needs to be dedicated to cacophony. Too bad this comes so easily to Brown.
The opening track, I Can Transform Ya, featuring Lil' Wayne and Swizz Beatz, is exactly what is wrong with popular music today. Swizz Beatz doesn't fail to make one of the most obnoxious beats ever heard on either side of the Atlantic. Add Lil' Wayne verses that contain things Wayne has said 10 million times before, each time less clever than the last, throw in Chris Brown's unimpressive singing to a song with an already stupid concept, and one of the worst recordings of the decade is born.
The rest of the album follows suit, with atrocious songwriting, subpar singing and not nearly enough soul. Take My Time is reminiscent of old Ginuwine, but lacks strong enough vocals to be taken seriously.
There is little to enjoy on Graffiti, but a very small portion is actually listenable. The electro-influenced Pass Out, with Eva Simmons, features a sample of Eric Prydz's irresistible house party jam, Call On Me, and is almost pleasant to the ears. Famous Girl is one of the tracks when Brown's pubescent voice isn't awful, and the beat is fun enough to make the song enjoyable. However, songs like Crawl, a wanna-be inspirational semi slow jam, try to be a little deeper than they are and end up ruining the album.
To expect much from Chris Brown is ridiculous, but it's usually easy to count him for a few great party jams like Run It and Kiss Kiss. Brown failed to deliver those on Graffiti, and failed to deliver anything at all.
Grade: * (Its mom still loves it)
In stores: now
* * * * * Can you marry a thing that's not a person?
* * * * Silver medals are still cool.
* * * Nobody's perfect.
* * Its mom still loves it.
* No, just no.