Album: Chris Brown, F.A.M.E. (RCA)

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The Independent Culture

The acronym apparently stands for "Forgiving All My Enemies", a typically self-pitying claim on the moral high ground from someone who, lest we forget, was convicted of assaulting a woman.

Isn't forgiveness something Brown should be requesting, rather than bestowing? But that's the topsy-turvy mindset of US R&B for you, a world characterised, on this showing, by paranoia, reproach and bogus regret, along with the standard "aspirational" bragging about money and sex. F.A.M.E. is equal parts bubblebath boudoir soul and more bullish beat-driven floor-fillers, tricked out with familiar guests like Timbaland and Justin Bieber, the most lively of which is Busta Rhymes's babble-rap over the Clangers-style bleeps of "Look at Me Now". As regards originality, the use of a Michael Jackson sample on "She Ain't You" shows how hard Brown's trying.

DOWNLOAD THIS Look at Me Now; Should've Kissed You; Champion

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