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Chris Brown

Eliot Lee Hazel / RCA Records

Chris Brown's sixth album is adventurous musically and a total mess lyrically – it's almost defiantly oblivious to his past as a domestic-abuser. Throughout, Brown plays the victim: He pretends he's a spurned lover ("X"), claims he was lied to ("Stereotype," which opens with the line "Why are my hands bleeding?") and only engages in self-reflection on a set of sad-sack EDM tracks. It's a shame, because X is full of great beats: Brown rides a monster Diplo groove on the title track, waxes mathematical on Danja's Stevie Wonder-in-space pulse ("Add Me In") and even attempts Avicii-style folk house ("See You Around").


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