When you mention the name Chris Brown, many things come to mind. The details of the life he has led so far are at times troubling, but those troubles are tackled headfirst by his talent. For a career spanning since his teenage years, the longevity of his relevance is nothing to laugh at. Throughout all the toxic drama, the only reason Chris Brown has not been completely banished from the celebrity world is, of course, his music. His music, to say the least, has been consistent. Chris Brown has the innate talent to create a hit for himself and others out of nowhere. As a mainstream R&B singer, he has the tools to not fail whether it be a recognizable voice or sexual bravado.
His new album, Heartbreak on a Full Moon, is a massive output containing 45 songs. With 45 songs, it’s hard to find a consistent narrative, impossible even. As a listener, you should experience this album by hoping at least 67% of the songs are good. The longevity of the project begs a plethora of questions. Why does this type of album exist? The future Best of Chris Brown album wouldn’t even span this long. An answer could be streaming. In theory, the more songs accumulated on your project, the more streams you will receive. Chris Brown is a popular enough artist to attempt this method, but it didn’t come with the results he wanted. For some reason, the album was released on Halloween night, which was a Tuesday. Albums have been regularly released on Fridays since June 2015.
Brown’s album only would be credited for 3 days. He voiced his disappointment on an Instagram post and shared his grievances with RIAA. The album was slated to sell 45,000 units, which isn’t that bad when you consider the short week. The album eventually went on to sell 68,000 units, which is an astounding feat given the short week. It is sure to know that another reason Chris Brown released 45 songs is for appreciation of his fans, but he may be on to something.
Remember More Life by Drake earlier this year. Many people perceived that album as a streaming grab as well. Lasting 22 tracks, Drake himself deemed it a playlist, which led to much confusion because it was for sale. The album went on to sell 505,000 units (257,000 streaming) the first week breaking a streaming record. The single, “Fake Love”, was the only song released prior to the release of More Life, so that means that a countless number of people streamed a sequence of nonlinear tracks simply because it is Drake. Artists that are relatively smaller than both Drake and Brown would not be able to pull off that kind of stunt. Chris Brown’s Heartbreak on a Full Moon behaves more like a playlist than an album. He isn’t really diving into anything he hasn’t already done on these tracks to make it stand out as a concept. That doesn’t mean that he isn’t at peak performance.
What Brown does best on this album: Songs centering woman. Through the deep cuts, you can feel the energized passion in his vocals. Track after track there is consistency within the production and concepts. Even though this quality music from Chris Brown, a 45 song album may be a better idea for someone else. Chris Brown does have a Grammy for his album, F.A.M.E., but for the last handful of years, he has been regarded as more of a singles artist. There are other artists that can reach the conceptual requirements that a half-century-long album may desire.
Heartbreak on a Full Moon becomes repetitive due to its structural longevity. Perhaps someone with better artistic vision can create a long album that doesn’t get tired or wouldn’t require the listener to split up the content. But that would be borderline impossible due to the decreasing attention span of people worldwide.