How the mighty has fallen

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By Alvin Yuen
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Chris Brown's first release post-"Rihanna-gate", Graffiti struggles to stay on par with other recent R'n'B releases in terms of creativity. The focus on Brown's domestic violence case has tarnished the artist's reputation; unfortunately he's done nothing to redeem himself professionally, either.

The 14 tracks are, in essence, boring and homogenous. The rhythm and lyrics feel bland, and the melodies feel messy. Brown's voice has been digitised to a point where it sounds robotic: not something you might expect from an artist who cites Michael Jackson as his main influence, and was once posed to take Usher's crown.

There is little to distinguish songs from one another. Girlfriend (featuring Lupe Fiasco) is possibly the worst song. It's full of egotistical lyrics that make Brown sound like a pretentious idiot. Take My Time (featuring Tank) is not much better: the lethargic tempo makes the 4.38 minutes feel painfully slow, and Brown's attempts to sound seductive are just embarrassing.

There is one redeeming track. Pass Out, a duet with Dutch electro-pop singer Eva Simons, is refreshing and by far the best thing to come out of this album.

If Brown had worked harder on his music, the world might have been willing to judge this album purely on merit.

YP rating: 1/5

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