Chris Brown
Graffiti


3.5
great

Review

by Terron Moore USER (15 Reviews)
December 8th, 2009 | 25 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: ... also titled Chris Brown & 13 More Ways To Get In Your Pants. Awkward!

Chris Brown might have had a rough year.

On the February night before the 2009 Grammy Awards, the then-19 year old may have gotten in a physical altercation with fellow young R&B superstar Rihanna, and forced to have every media outlet endlessly scrutinize him as the public example against domestic violence. He may have pled guilty to a felony and taken a deal involving community labor and five years’ probation. He may have poked his head out of the shadows every so often to relentlessly apologize for his actions against Rihanna on Larry King Live, ABC, MTV, and most important, YouTube. He may still be the hopeless victim of cruel jokes and verbal abuse from fans, celebrities, and tweeters everywhere, and people still may shy away from any affrimative mention of the triple-platinum star.

This all might have happened- but you don’t hear any of that in the furiously rebellious “I Can Transform Ya”. It’s a robotic jungle full of thunderous cranking, whirring, whistling, and smashing where Brown and allies Swizz Beatz and Lil’ Wayne aggressively promise to “change you up.” It’s monstrous and well done as the lead into his third and post-apocalyptic album Graffiti, but turns a blind eye to the hell that Chris Brown has persevered in the past year.

The controversy over Graffiti isn’t whether or not Brown has effectively assembled 13 great tracks or 13 terrible ones. The controversy, and unfortunately the album itself, rests on whether or not he can properly hang his head to the world and atone for his sins in stereo. And on that level, the album is an all-out fail: while ex-girlfriend Rihanna’s Rated R reeks of desperate dark emotion, Chris Brown… well, ladies, Chris Brown’s got 13 more ways to get in your pants.

And there will be legions of critics and fans who slam the record simply because of the fact that it’s just not sorry enough. Sure, there’s slower times where you can tell he’s alluding to his pain- “Crawl” is a vocally strong power ballad where Brown pleads to pick up the pieces, “So Cold” is bravely apologetic (“She was the only one / And I know I was dead wrong”), and on the less successful “Lucky Me”, he commits to smiling through the sadness. But on the large majority on the album, Brown focuses on the upbeat music he’s known for, and most succeed: he plays sweet on the mid-tempo “Sing Like Me”, slows it down on the sexy drum-thump of “Take My Time”, and gets electro-happy sampling Eric Prydz’s “Call On Me” on “Pass Out”. There’s even a pair of fun trunk-rattlers: “What I Do” is a hood-happy bass heavy thumper, and “Wait” is a chance for Brown to flaunt his sexual prowess. Bold move.

Not every track works (pass on the 80s synth of “I.Y.A.”), but if nothing else, Graffiti does create two interesting moments: “Fallin’ Down” may be his most honest song yet: it’s a churning frustrated explanation of Brown’s state of current existence. “Why is it so easy for you to blame?” he begs, later wailing “It’s getting heavy, I’m getting ready to break down.” Then there’s the bouncy but cryptic “Famous Girl”, where Brown makes alluding statements to a famous lost love: “I might have cheated in the beginning / I was wrong for writing ‘Disturbia’ / But I meant it in ‘Forever’ / We were supposed to be together.” But like the rest of the album, a potentially meaningful message is subdued under a snappy production. Those looking for Brown to show his soul won’t see it on Graffiti, and for better or worse, that makes it more enjoyable.



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user ratings (55)
Chart.
1.6
very poor

Comments:Add a Comment 
shortone323
December 8th 2009


883 Comments


Great review. I make a joke about this every time anyone says "I'm beat" and this review made me feel a little bad about it.

And I don't think I'll ever willingly listen to this.

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
December 8th 2009


28770 Comments


for his genre, chris brown is really good

but i dont really dig r&b so...

hydeyomoney
December 8th 2009


934 Comments


this seems to be universally panned other than you...

bloc
December 8th 2009


34992 Comments


I Can Transform Ya owns.

Digging: The Birthday Massacre - Superstition

dylantheairplane
December 8th 2009


2171 Comments


stupid album cover

Kiran
Emeritus
December 8th 2009


6002 Comments


ya, album cover is terrible

good review though


Digging: Harry Nilsson - Nilsson Schmilsson

NewYorkZoo
December 8th 2009


95 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i already predicted it being panned, and i've said why... rolling stone's review in particular angers me and is the perfect example of why sputnik should exist. never read an album review that talks more about another album instead of the one it's titled after. frustrating, to say the least.

MUNGOLOID
December 8th 2009


4350 Comments


i can transorm ya is chris brown's worst single yet.

thatoneguy726
December 8th 2009


1636 Comments


Why the freak is he holding a guitar? He's Chris Brown! He doesn't even know what a guitar is!

Asiatic667
December 9th 2009


4648 Comments


Why was this fart even allowed to make more music.
He should be rotting in prison, where he belongs.

AtavanHalen
December 9th 2009


17927 Comments


I Can Transform Ya is fucking great.

mvdu
December 9th 2009


608 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Just can't get past the fact that he's a woman beater making excuses and even bragging. Usually I frown at that kind of reviewing bias, but the Allmusic review does have a point here.

AlexTM510
December 12th 2009


1404 Comments


The press pretty much trashed this album-and I wonder if it was out of anger to the situation or if its simply that bad.

I appreciate this review....I'm gonna give this a listen for kicks though I doubt i'll enjoy it.

Pos

Digging: Bent Knee - Shiny Eyed Babies

BSX
December 12th 2009


1633 Comments


Probably the former

Digging: Azealia Banks - Broke With Expensive Taste

bloc
December 14th 2009


34992 Comments


Shoes

you got it

Bags

you got it

Cars

you got it

Money

you got it

cirq
December 14th 2009


9265 Comments


Any Rihanna references?

NewYorkZoo
December 17th 2009


95 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nope, none other than the one i mentioned.

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
December 19th 2009


15063 Comments


really good review

cirq
December 19th 2009


9265 Comments


...

peaks40
September 7th 2011


2774 Comments


this is awful, i can transform ya is terrible n annoying



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