http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/824806ab29573a3df3565395dde383bdeaf5e93c.jpg Fortune

Chris Brown


Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 2 0
July 16, 2012

Brown's fifth LP sounds great on the surface: "Bassline" is based on an elegant dubstep wobble, and his vocal on "Stuck on Stupid" matches its midtempo grandeur. But deep listening means getting cozy with a guy so reviled mosquitoes won’t bite him; Brown brags about his extra-large condoms, and, on "Don’t Judge Me," turns a tender love song into a Twitter rant against "haters." It will have a broad audience.

Listen to 'Fortune'

Photos: Random Notes

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    Song Stories

    “Try a Little Tenderness”

    Otis Redding | 1966

    This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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