Let’s be real for a second… despite all the shit that has occurred in his personal life, Chris Brown has put out a lot of hits. According to Billboard, Brown has the seventh most Hot 100 charting entries with 82, and he may have more on the way. But his eighth studio album, Heartbreak on a Full Moon is way too long and inconsistent.
It’s never easy to release a double album. Yet, barring any unforeseeable bumps in the road, the 45-track album is destined to chart. However, it seems like Brown’s gimmicky theatrics—releasing the album on Halloween—will cost him, according to the artist’s Instagram tirade about the RIAA’s refusal of the first three days of sales.
“😡 So I’m hearing that I will only be credited for 3 days of sales for my first week. DON’T UNDERSTAND how that is…👀. Just like the 9 platinum plaques RIAA just dropped out of the sky this year (not including the 3 that I just received for HOAFM singles). (10 platinums = 💎)… FUCK IT, either way, I’m thankful for the support. ❤️”
The first-half of the album is painfully mediocre for a talent like Brown, who has won 14 BET Awards, five Billboard Music Awards, and five Soul Train Music Awards. Unfortunately, there isn’t a song that really jumps out you until you are already six tracks deep on a project that totally bites on the Hip-Hop collaboration “California Love” by Dr. Dre and 2Pac, and the pop-dance single, “Turn Me On” by Kevin Lyttle.
Before going into the makeup of the album, it was a valiant attempt at a difficult task but nobody needed a 158 minute-long biopic. There is so much filler that if there is a real concept album in their it is buried in monotony.
“Roses” was the first track that actually stood out, for its originality and sound. Don’t let the title fool you, it’s not a mushy love track but a party banger.
Brown really gets things lit when Dej Loaf and Lil Yachty jump in on the track, “Handle It,” a party song all about staying out all night and get drunk on Hennessy. The strange part is it is far superior to “Party,” the second single from the album, featuring Gucci Mane and Usher, which is just more of the same pop sound we’ve come to expect from Brown. The following track, “Sensei” featuring a1 is even better, with its hard-hitting trap beats.
Debuting at no. 54 on the Billboard Hot 100, “Pills and Automobiles” is an awkwardly sounding posse cut featuring A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Yo Gotti and Kodak Black that I am certain will be getting much more radio play in the weeks following the album.
Beck—believe it or not—makes an appearance as well on the co-produced track “No Exit,” a surefire single in the making. The track was co-written with the help of Fetty Wap, and features a beautiful guitar track… but is sadly, only one of a small few that stands out on the album.
Ughh… and, alas there is more.
Side-two of Heartbreak on a Full Moon opens with the auto-tune heavy rhythmic track, “I Love Her,” which is followed by yet another sliver of pop brilliance, “You Like,” which was co-written by Sevyn Streeter.
Things pop off on “High End,” featuring the newest “dynamic duo” Future and Young Thug, and get progressively better with “Enemy,” co-written by Scott Storch, “Run Away” co-produced by Andre Proctor, and “Emotions” co-written by Kanye West.
“This Way” opens with an interpolation of “Rosa Parks” by Outkast, with a dubbed version of Brown singing “uh huh, yeah, yeah, baby, yeah yeah.”
Ty Dolla $ign and Verse Simmonds also join Brown on some contemporary R&B fire, “Only 4 Me.”
But the really crazy part… it takes the entire until we get to the lead single at track no. 45. “Grass Ain’t Greener” was released in May 2016 and tells the story of how his “side chick” became “his girl.” Besides blatantly objectifying women, the song was produced by Nikhil and features a more bounce-like feel. The track has already become Gold certified by the RIAA.
The album could have had so much potential but it is way too long and had way too much filler. Still, the core of the album was decent, but Heartbreak on a Full Moon probably could’ve done without the tracks: “If You’re Down,” “Bite My Tongue,” “On Me,” “Hurt the Same,” “Rock Your Body,” “Privacy,” “To My Bed,” and “Juicy Booty” featuring Jhené Aiko and R. Kelly. Even without those eight, the album would still be crazy long. But there are some redeeming factors that will certainly make this chart.
STREAM: CHRIS BROWN – ‘HEARTBREAK ON A FULL MOON’