First up is the latest with Chris Brown called F.A.M.E. This was originally slated to come out late last year, but the delays have been worth it for a more complete album featuring some of the biggest hits in the past year. Starting off with the megahit "Dueces" is a pretty good idea as the rest of the album mixes the fast and slow tempo R&B (such as "No Bull****")/pop songs well. Even Breezy wants to kick in the rap in his current single "Look at Me Now" which features Busta Rhymes' ridiculously fast flow with his verse (nearly Twista-like) and Lil' Wayne. It turned to be my personal favorites in the album and continues to show off Chris's wide skillset he has been known for years. There's also the clubby pop stuff with his smash hit, "Yeah 3x," and the Benny Benassi produced "Beautiful People" which serve their purpose in the album exceptionally well. What I didn't expect in the album at first and will probably end up as a future single is "Next 2 You" featuring one Justin Bieber. Personally, I expect that to be big if it makes it to radio stations. After the whole Rihanna incident, it seemed like it was end of the line for Chris Brown to me, but he turned it around significantly doing what he does best as F.A.M.E. is his best album post RiRi. Its safe to say we are all past that and he's able to put out a successful record that will be on top of the mainstream charts for a while.
This came out to the internets earlier than I thought it would and of course I had to get it right away. Its safe to say that Britney Spears has been through a lot lately with her career and her personal life. After her successful Circus album being somewhat her comeback to pop royalty, there is nowhere to go but up for her latest Femme Fatale. Going up was probably the right mindset as Britney took no prisoners to make the album as good as it is. Of course, I started listening to this album with little to no expectations, but I'm amazingly surprised (and shocked) that is a full album with basically no filler tracks at all. This is arguably Britney's best album yet, which at first isn't saying much considering her track record over the years, but it is actually that good which the majority of the songs having single potential. Sure, it is still catchy pop at its core, but this is Britney being the pop queen she is. "Till the World Ends" and "Hold It Against Me," her current singles are still getting radio playback like no other as you can't listen to the mainstream stations without hearing Brit once every hour and also great starters for the album. The rest of the album though is what surprised me the most becoming the full album it is. "Inside Out" and "I Wanna Go" are high in rotation and among my favorites so far. Britney dabbled with the clubby pop first with her Blackout album, the sleeper favorite among fans, and still messed around with it for Circus, but it is increased to eleven for Femme Fatale to the point she entered dubstep territory. The dub influences have been spread out throughout the album, as a friend of mine called it "popstep," so we'll see if Britney is setting a new standard for other pop artists to dabble with dubstep because we all know music artists these days want to be trendy just to stay relevant. The one personal stinker for me with this album is "Big Fat Bass" because count on Will.I.Am to ruin things with his production and annoying vocals. Then again, I'm still on my hate phase for him and the rest of the BEP currently. Even the one slow track at the end, "Criminal," is pretty good and shows signs of old school Britney. All in all, Femme Fatale is Britney's statement to take pop supermacy once again and it is one very good statement she made. Now I'm looking more forward to Lady Gaga's new album to see she is able to keep the crown.