Review : Chris Brown - Exclusive
BillboardWith his self-titled debut, 16-year-old Chris Brown manages to stand out amid the sea of young singers vying for the top. Backed by the infectious lead single and recent Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 "Run It!," the Virginia native proves listeners should not write him off merely based on inexperience. Though Brown's sweet songs are set up to appeal to a young female fan base, the narratives are mature enough to sway some older folks. The singer plays the sweet-talker on tracks like "Your Man Ain't Me" and "Is This Love," while the Scott Storch creation "Gimme That" (much like "Run It!") diversifies this ballad-heavy album. The pretentious "What's My Name" and the praise-God "Thank U" notwithstanding, "Chris Brown" makes a strong case that age really ain't nothing but a number.—Clover Hope...full text
BostonIf there was ever a record created to turn a pop singer into a star, it's Brown's sophomore effort. It would be shocking if it doesn't because the set is filled with sharp songs and some of the most creative talents in R&B and hip-hop. Brown's debut was tentative, but it had a few dynamic songs. Now 18, Brown owns these songs instead of seeming like an unsure teen trying to be an adult. Like Britney Spears's new disc, this is very much a producers' record, and they include Jazze Pha, the invaluable Underdogs, and Stargate....full text
RollingstoneIt's been a long stretch between Usher albums — long enough for Chris Brown to build a whole career, growing from a temporary substitute to an undeniably major pop star. He seals the deal with Exclusive, an all-grown-up album on a level with Justin Timberlake's Justified, Rihanna's Good Girl Gone Bad or even Bobby Brown's King of Stage. "With You" is the convincer, even if you can instantly tell that producer Stargate was just trying to roll out "Irreplaceable" one more time — Brown moans over the acoustic-guitar loop with a poignant R&B surge, sending this one out to "hearts all over the world tonight."...full text
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