Chris Brown’s ‘Indigo’ Showcases Versatility & Maturity But Is It The Album We Want? [Review]

The King of R&B releases another song-heavy project. How does it add up?

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On June 28th, Chris Brown released his ninth studio album Indigo. The album serves as his second double album and follow-up to 2017’s Heartbreak On A Full Moon. Indigo spawned 6-singles over the last year with “Undecided,” “Back To Love,” “Wobble Up” featuring Nicki Minaj & G Eazy, the massive hit “No Guidance” featuring Drake and most recently “Heat” featuring Gunna and “Don’t Check Me” featuring Justin Bieber and Ink. Compared to his last album which featured over 40 songs with a re-release, Indigo is a large but digestible project. Through 32 well-produced tracks and two albums, the self proclaimed King of R&B showcases versatility and maturity. However, after almost 15 years of legacy, is this the album that we want? Let’s jump into the project and find out!

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Indigo opens with a self-titled number that definitely set the pace for this project. While playing with R&B, trap and pop sounds and flexing those familiar vocals, Chris Brown explores the underlying theme of spiritual growth that’s found throughout the project. Indigo, which is associated with the third shakra or third-eye, is the first color Brown uses on the album as well. After visiting the smooth single “Back To Love,” Breezy teams up with H.E.R. on a favorite titled “Come Together” and Lil John on a turn up titled “Temporary Lover”. Following the theme Breezy continues to explore colors with a tight production titled “Emerald/Burgandy” featuring Juvenile & Juicy J before slowing it down on “Red”. Both tracks explore themes related to energy  and vibrations while telling the story of a relationship loss. After teaming up with Tyga on “All I Want,” we jump into the heart of the project which features the single “Wobble Up,” another floor-filler titled “Need A Stack” featuring Joyner Lucas, a smooth, the heavy-hitter single “Heat” featuring Gunna and the projects highlight and long-awaited reunion of past enemies on “No Guidance”. Things slow down on the following tracks “Girl of My Dreams,” “Natural Disaster/Aura” and “Don’t Check on Me” featuring Justin Bieber and Ink. The first half of the project closes with “Sorry Enough,” which finds Chris meeting self-realization in an apologetic number.

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The second half of the album doesn’t pickup until the bouncy Tory Lanez collaboration “Lurkin” and “I Love Your Smile” sampling “Undecided” Although these tracks are enough to stand alone, the previous “Juice,” “You Like That,” “Troubled Waters,” and “Take A Risk” don’t really make that connection. After a couple more track that seemingly serve as “fillers,” Breezy samples Aaliyah’s classic “Back & Forth” on “Throw It Back” before taking it to the bedroom on “All Of Me”.  On the next tracks Chris Brown continues to fill the bedroom with collaborations “Sexy” featuring Tory Lanez and “Early 2K” featuring Tank. The next track is very vulnerable track that finds Brown reflecting on a fallen relationship while asking for guidance called “Dear God“. After moving on with hope on another vulnerable track that hints at his history with Rihanna and the media called “Part of The Plan,” Brown closes the second half of the album with “Play Catch Up”.

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Indigo is a great album that in modern Chris Brown fashion provides enough sounds and songs to keep fans and critics satisfied while showcasing absolute growth and versatility from one of the world’s greatest entertainers. However, at a time where it seems like Brown’s public image is finally catching a break from continuous scrutiny, Indigo had the potential to be a classic album in Breezy discography. Before releasing Indigo, Breezy promised an album about “energy, love, light and happiness,” and he definitely followed through with an entire project that met those expectations. While exploring common themes surrounding relationships, higher vibrations and personal growth, Breezy continues to flex his creativity and talents while fusing R&B, trap and pop sounds. The album’s sound and underlying feel is reminiscent of 2009’s Graffiti and the energy of 2011’s F.A.M.E. but it lacks the coherent artistic or solid statements those albums made. In a time where albums, playlists and EPs all work the charts in the same way, this 32-song project proved successful debuting at #1 on the Billboard charts. However a lot of those track felt like “fillers” and in my opinion, I believe the first part of the project could have stood alone with the addition of few tracks off of the second. Since Breezy released X in 2014, it seems like the priority is to create freely versus providing a solid project. As stated earlier, after 15 years of legacy, I think it’s time for Chris Brown to release a classic album that makes an impact and stands the test of time like his self-titled debut album, Exclusive or even F.A.M.E. Overall, Indigo is another album that please fans and push Chris Brown forward, but has reached his full potential? What do you think? Stream Chris Brown’s Indigo and sound off below!

Chris Brown – “Wobble Up” featuring Nicki Minaj & G Eazy 

 

Chris Brown & Drake – “No Guidance”

Chris Brown – Indigo

 

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