Photo Credit: Prince Williams/Wireimage
By the time you read this, Chris Brown will have notched another #1 album to his belt for his latest release, 2019’s Indigo. The “Loyal” singer dropped the double-sided 32-track LP on June 28th. We all know Brown is an unparalleled vocalist and by far, one of the best of his generation. With that being said, even with a knack for music an easy listen, after so long anyone gets tiresome of hearing the same old song and dance. This is the dilemma with Indigo. It is a bunch of stuff we’ve already heard from the enigmatic entertainer with a few lucky charms sprinkled in for good measure.
So on that note, let’s get right into the flurry of sizzling tracks that actually make the album pop! Such as the radio friendly “Undecided”, which was the pre-release teaser that is a sample of Shanice’s 90’s hit single “Smile” and features typical suave Chris Brown sing-songy sounding grooves behind it. “Back To Love” is another gem, which will have you loving the sweet side of Brown as he croons “oh’s” and “ah’s” to a mellow backbeat, giving you “Yo, Excuse Me Miss” type of feels. He displays more of his musical genius on the nostalgic “All On Me” and then on the lovely assisted “Come Together” featuring H.E.R., which is by far the best collaboration on the LP. The two affectionately trade back and forth verses about lust and sentiment. Former nemesis Drake shoes up on the savvy “No Guidance” and instantly makes that summer banger with his melodic flows with Brown’s laser sharp soprano serenading throughout the song.
Other cameos include Southern MC’s Juicy J and Juvenile on the choppy but fun flowing “Emerald/Burgundy”. Following suit, 2000’s Hype man Lil Jon makes an appearance on “Temporary Lover”. Though the track is nowhere near either of the artists best, it reminds you of some of their most infamous dance joints that used to make you get up out of your seat! Elsewhere, the prior released “Don’t Check On Me” with Justin Bieber is a decent addition. However, the energetic/oversexed collaboration “Wobble Up” featuring Nicki Minaj and G-Eazy provides nothing new.
Although, Brown is able to bounce back with tracks like the beautifully sung “Girl Of My Dreams” behind a melancholy type of beat that would make even the likes of R&B love man Brian McKnight proud. Rounding out the list of notables is the jazzy and upbeat “Need A Stack” as Chris Brown attempts to go head to head with Lil Baby, Joyner Lucas, and Louisiana’s finest Lil Wayne. Brown attempts to show off his mediocre rapping skills spitting controversial lines like: “I only wanna f*ck black b*tches with the nice hair.”
Notably, these are the types of innuendos that make the remainder of the album nothing more than unnecessary fluff for the most part. Filibusters to pack the album with plenty of material to increase streams via a jam-packed playlist from a seasoned vet (I.E. over saturated lyrics, misogynist overkill, and boring run of the mill R&B Brown has done before.) We get it, it’s album number ten, and Brown’s career is all but sealed. But the many loyal fans of his certainly deserve more than a half lackluster effort from a musician of Brown’s capabilities and artistic talent.
In conclusion, comparatively Indigo is nothing close to the vibrancy of Brown’s earlier work like F.A.M.E and 2012’s Fortune. It doesn’t have the innovation of X, or even the spark of 2015’s Royalty and frankly, Brown is just a phenomenal musician past his prime, but can still jam with the best of them. He is capable of making truly GREAT music when he wants to. Though his diehard fans will be satisfied, Indigo will be nowhere near his finest hour. It will fall somewhere unnoticed in between Brown’s other multiplatinum plaques on the shelf. Sort of like the other debacles that have defined his legacy, whether good or bad. That is simply the essence of Chris Brown. For that reason, when all is said and done even through the mediocrity and hypocrisy, he will still undoubtedly be one of the best and most highly remembered R&B male talents to ever grace a stage.