Mikael Wood, LOS ANGELES TIMES
LOS ANGELES (L.A. Times)—Five years after Chris Brown’s 2009 assault on his then-girlfriend, Rihanna, the R&B star continues to exercise some remarkably dubious judgment in his music.
“I’ll calculate a home invasion,” he sings in “Add Me In,” a track from his new album; later, in a duet with Trey Songz, Brown promises to show a woman “what it means to be a victim of love.” That the duet is called “Songs on 12 Play,” a nod to R. Kelly’s album, hardly helps.
Listening to these tunes (and many others on “X”), you start to wonder if Brown, who was released from jail in June after serving part of a one-year sentence for violating his probation, might somehow have escaped a real awareness of his public persona — if it honestly never occurred to him that a victim of love sounds like a horrifying thing to be in a Chris Brown song.
But then how to account for the ominous title track, in which he broods over his bad reputation before growling, “I swear to God I’m moving on”?