Chris Brown’s brand new album Heartbreak on a Full Moon has already been certified Gold and became his ninth consecutive Top Ten album. Before the album was released, there were two things that grabbed my attention. First up, the album title Heartbreak on a Full Moon. What does that mean? I have personally always wanted Chris to dig deeper and add more depth to his music. I strongly feel that such a move will elevate his artistry. There is a side to Chris Brown that we still do not know. We are familiar with the party/bad boy side of Chris but what else is there? The album title gave me hope that Chris was going to finally grant us access to a type of vulnerability that he has held locked up internally.
The second thing that stood out to me was the album length. When I first read that the album was going to contain 45 songs, I immediately thought; 1: Chris is trying to do something EPIC and 2: These better be the most amazing 45 songs I have ever heard in my life. I mean 45 songs, really? That type of album is extremely risky. In the social media climate that we live in today, our attention span only lasts about 15 to 30 seconds. Artist drop new singles and videos for what it seems like every other week due to the quick burnout. How was Chris Brown going to HOLD our attention to the end of the 2 hour and 40 minute album?
When the album dropped this past Halloween, Twitter was hot with fans tweeting about how long it took them to listen to the album. “I’m on track 23” or “I only have 8 more songs to go”. I remember calling my friends to ask them what tracks they were currently listening to. It was like a race to see who could finish the album first. If this was indeed a race, I am pretty sure I would not have come in first place. It honestly took me around a week and a half to two weeks to finish the album. Hey, I was busy.
So how does the album hold up? The album is mostly built around the sound of “Trap N B” with occasional sprinkles of Caribbean vibes, dance-house music and pure R&B. It goes without saying that Chris was going to give us some club bangers on this album. There are indeed songs about heartbreak and brokenness. “Enemy” speaks of admitting to his wrongs in a relationship and wanting his ex to understand how sorry he is. There are even socially conscious moments in the album. In the song “Run Away” Chris speaks of police brutality singing, “Them boys in blue, they won’t catch a case”. Those are the type of songs that I have been waiting for. Unfortunately, these moments are far and few between.
Building his career on sex and party music, the majority of the album is just that. Now don’t get me wrong, those type of Chris Brown records always bang. I mean tracks like “Privacy” and “Juicy Booty” stay on repeat. Let’s not forget track 13, “In My Bed”, a baby making bop that has classic written all over it. I would be crazy to disregard the fact that Chris Brown is an extremely talented DANCER. So naturally he is going to make music that he can move to. However, with the album being 45 songs long, many of the songs sound similar to one another. Rather its similarities in beats, subject matter or lyrics, I often felt like I was listening to the same song over and over again. If this was a regular length album many of these songs would have never seen the light of day.
I also noticed that the album does not introduce us to a newly reinvented Chris Brown. The majority of the songs showcase a Chris that we are already familiar with. Maybe a result of the “If it isn’t broken” strategy. I would have liked to see him challenge himself musically. All of the legends had to evolve at some point in their careers.
Overall, Heart Break on a Full Moon is a fun party album. It fits in perfectly on those Friday nights when you and your friends are pre gaming for a night out on the town. It will be interesting to see how Chris Brown will bring these songs to life on the stage. As always, make sure to support the artist by purchasing and streaming the album on all digital music outlets.