With his long-delayed new album coming out at the beginning of the fall, Chris Brown ramped up the action this week with the release of the video for his song “New Flame.” The track, off the forthcoming X, features guest turns from Usher and Rick Ross and a lot of crisp white linens amid images of water and fire.
The video sets its scene with Chris Brown dressed all in white, surrounded by white-clad models in a stark modern seascape. He’s also got a white umbrella, which he puts to use with some jazzy tricks. Usher comes in to contribute his vocals shortly before the song’s second minute, introducing a new dance component as the choreography gets increasingly elaborate, with scenes staged in front of a flaming X. Rick Ross delivers his verse while sitting on a white throne in all his shirtless glory.
Brown announced earlier this week that X, his sixth album, would finally drop on September 16th. The singer began recording the album in February 2013 and the release has been pushed back several times over a period in which Brown faced various legal troubles.
“Making X, I found out who I am,” Brown told Rolling Stone the month after he began recording the record. “This album has a lot of substance, from the subject matter and the situations to how it deals with love. It’s really derived from personal experiences. Then again, I always like mixing reality with art.”
Brown also went into some detail about the album’s sound and inspirations. “I tried to stay away from the Euro beats, and not go totally pop,” he said. “Instead, I wanted to take the Quincy Jones approach. The record pays homage to the Stevie Wonders, the Michael Jacksons, the Sam Cookes: I wanted to put that classic essence of R&B and soul with the new age of music now. There’s a lot of live instruments, and a lot less Auto-Tune. I really wanted to demonstrate my vocal ability, creating the vibe of me singing along with a band.”