Fortune (Chris Brown album)

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Fortune
Studio album by Chris Brown
Released June 29, 2012 (2012-06-29)
Recorded 2011-12
Genre R&B, pop
Length 54:53
Label RCA
Producer Adonis, Alle Benassi, Benny Benassi, Boi-1da, Catalyst, Chris Brown (exec.), Dallas Austin, Danja, Dante Jones, Dayvi Jae, Free School, Fuego, Harmony Samuels, Jerome "J Roc" Harmon, Tommy Hittz, Jonas Jeberg, Dante Jones, Brian "BK" Kennedy, Kevin McCall, Jason "JP" Perry, Mark Pitts (exec.), Polow da Don, Pop Wansel, R.A.P. 1220, Team Breezy (exec.), Tha Bizness, The Messengers, The Monarch, The Runners, The Underdogs, Tina Davis (exec.), William Orbit
Chris Brown chronology
F.A.M.E.
(2011)
Fortune
(2012)
X
(2014)
Singles from Fortune
  1. "Turn Up the Music"
    Released: February 7, 2012 (2012-02-07)
  2. "Sweet Love"
    Released: April 10, 2012 (2012-04-10)
  3. "Till I Die"
    Released: April 13, 2012 (2012-04-13)
  4. "Don't Wake Me Up"
    Released: May 18, 2012 (2012-05-18)
  5. "Don't Judge Me"
    Released: August 14, 2012 (2012-08-14)

Fortune is the fifth studio album by American recording artist, Chris Brown, released on June 29, 2012. The album is Brown's first release through RCA Records, following the disbandment of Jive Records in October 2011. As the executive producer of the album, Brown collaborated with several record producers, including The Underdogs, Polow da Don, Brian Kennedy, The Runners, The Messengers, Danja and Fuego, among others. The album also features several guest appearances, including Big Sean, Wiz Khalifa, Nas, Kevin McCall, Sevyn and Sabrina Antoinette. Originally scheduled for release six months after the release of his fourth studio album F.A.M.E. (2011), Fortune received several push backs.

Upon its release, Fortune received generally negative reviews from music critics, who panned its songwriting and music. In the United States, the album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 135,000 copies in its first week. The album also debuted at number one in the Netherlands, New Zealand and United Kingdom, and reached the top ten in Australia, Canada, France, Ireland, Japan and Switzerland.

Preceding the album's release was the lead single "Turn Up the Music", which reached number 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and number one on the UK Singles Chart. "Sweet Love" and "Till I Die" were released as the album's second and third singles, respectively. "Don't Wake Me Up" was released as the fourth single and reached the top ten in several international countries. "Don't Judge Me" was released as the fifth and final single from Fortune. To promote the album, Brown made several award show and televised appearances across America.

Background and recording[edit]

In an interview with Rap-Up magazine on September 2, 2011, Kevin McCall revealed that he has been collaborating "heavily" with Brown on the album.[1] Later that month, producer David Banner told NeonLimeLight.com that the album will "bring people back to the clubs" and that it will "change the way people look at R&B".[2] He also revealed details of a song that he and Brown recorded for the album, saying: "When I tell you, you know how they don't play that much R&B in the club no more? ... The song that me and Chris made, they are going to play it like they used to play Jodeci. Like they used to play Keith Sweat. The song that me and Chris made is so jamming".[2] On January 7, 2012, Brown revealed via his official Twitter account that there was only two weeks left of recording sessions for the album, tweeting "LAST TWO WEEKS of me finishing FORTUNE! I'm excited for all the fans to hear my real music".[3] The tweet was soon followed up by another, with the singer tweeting "Dub step records on my album sounding crazy!!!!".[3] However, the tweet was later removed, suggesting that Brown gave away too much details about the album.[3]

In addition to recording, it was revealed later that month that Brown was in the studio working on the album with Asher Roth, Nas, Wiz Khalifa, will.i.am, and Kid Sister.[4][5] On January 20, 2012, Brown announced that Nas will appear as a guest vocalist on the album.[4] In an interview with MTV News, producer Harvey Mason, Jr., half of production duo The Underdogs, who co-wrote and co-produced "Turn Up the Music", spoke more about the album, saying "The Fortune record is F.A.M.E to the next level. Similar material, but he's really being innovative with some of the music that you haven't heard before, taking pieces of other genres and integrating them into pop and R&B, which I think is really cool. Vocally, he sounds amazing; he's really, really coming into his own as a singer".[6] Producer Damon Thomas, the other half of the duo, added "The only way I can describe Chris and what he's doin' with this record that he's making is that he's this generation's Michael [Jackson]".[6] On February 29, 2012, Brown tweeted "I hope this album shows growth and positivity to all my fans and will inspire them to live life to the fullest!!! #FORTUNE".[7] During a radio interview with Atlanta's Hot 107.9 in March 2012, rapper 2 Chainz revealed that he will be appearing as a guest vocalist on Fortune,[8] however the track he was featured on did not make the final track listing.[9] In May 2012, songwriter and producer William Orbit revealed that the best songs he made for Madonna's album MDNA (2012) that did not make the final tracklisting, would be included on Fortune.[10]

Release, change of labels and artwork[edit]

In January 2011, Brown told fans on Twitter that he was planning on releasing his then studio album, F.A.M.E. (2011), as a double disc because he recorded too many songs for one disc and therefore planned on releasing a second disc titled, Fortune.[11] However, during a listening party for F.A.M.E. on March 14, 2011, Brown announced that he would be releasing the Fortune disc in six months.[12] On August 23, 2011, RCA Music Group announced it was disbanding Jive Records along with Arista Records and J Records. With the shutdown, Fortune is now being released on the RCA Records brand.[13] During an interview with Rap-Up magazine in September 2011, Kevin McCall revealed that the album was being pushed back for an early 2012 release.[1] Then two months later, Jive Records France announced via Twitter that the album would be released in March 2012.[14] However, on March 1, 2012, RCA Records confirmed that Fortune would be released in the United States on May 8, 2012, as both standard and deluxe editions.[7] Then on April 22, 2012, Brown announced via Twitter that the album will be delayed, tweeting "Team Breezy! The official album date for FORTUNE is July 3, 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!".[15] The track listing for both the standard and deluxe editions of Fortune was revealed on May 29, 2012.[9] The album will feature fourteen tracks on the standard edition, with an additional five tracks on the deluxe edition.[9] Fortune was released as both digital download and CD formats on June 29, 2012, in the European countries of Germany, Ireland and Netherlands.[16][17][18] On July 2, the album was released in the United Kingdom and France,[19][20] and on July 3, in the United States and Canada.[15][21] A Japan release followed on July 4,[22] and in Australia and New Zealand on July 6.[23][24]

The album's official cover (standard version) was revealed on February 29, 2012.[25] The cover art was shot in January of the same year by Steven Gomillion and Dennis Leupold of the photography team, Gomillion and Leupold.[26] On the album cover, a light shines down on Brown, who poses against a blue backdrop, dressed in a blue "sleek, slim-fitting suit with a skinny tie and thick black framed glasses",[27] while the word "Fortune" appears behind him in different languages.[27] Brown and his art director Courtney Walter came up with the idea of using hieroglyphics for the album's title.[26] In an interview by telephone with Erik Parker of CBS Local, Gomillion said Brown "knew before the last album came out what this one would look like. He thinks so far ahead".[26] Regarding the use of the color blue, Gomillion said "The funny thing about that blue is it basically just happened. It matched the suit and it gives a kind of futuristic vibe. You'll see blue throughout the [album] packaging".[26] Sarah Brotherton of MTV News wrote that the cover shows "a more mature, sleek side" to Brown.[28] Becky Bain of Idolator noted that Brown "seems to have finally dropped his beloved graffiti imagery and is going for a futuristic vibe".[29] A reviewer for Rap-Up described it as a "slick cover".[25] Alex Loinaz of E! Online compared Brown's look to that of actors Keanu Reeves in The Matrix films, and Colin Firth in A Single Man (2009).[30]

Promotion[edit]

Brown performing at Supafest in Australia, April 2012.

On November 18, 2011, "Strip", featuring Kevin McCall, was made available via iTunes Stores worldwide as a buzz single for the album.[31][32][33] The song achieved moderate success, reaching number 37 on the US Billboard Hot 100,[34] and number three on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[35] In January 2012, Brown released the first promotional photo for Fortune, which showed him posing against a white backdrop, dressed in a full length fur coat, black hoodie and jeans.[36] At the 54th Grammy Awards, held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on February 12, 2012, Brown performed a medley of "Turn Up the Music" and "Beautiful People".[37] The performance featured Brown dressed in a white and gray varsity jacket, white pants and sparkling sneakers, performing heavily-choreographed routines with several dancers, atop a collection of blocks.[37] On February 26, 2012, he performed a truncated version of "Turn Up the Music" during the halftime show of the 2012 NBA All-Star Game in Orlando.[38]

On March 2, 2012, Brown released the first episode of his Fortune web series, showing him backstage at the 2012 Lo Nuestro Awards where he performed "International Love" with Pitbull, playing in a celebrity basketball game during NBA All-Star Weekend in Orlando with rappers Common, 50 Cent, T.I., and singer R. Kelly, as well as partying and dancing at the club.[39] In April 2012, Brown appeared in Australia as one of the performing acts for the urban music festival, Supafest.[40] His set list composed of thirteen songs, including "Turn Up the Music", "Till I Die", "Run It!", "Deuces", "Yeah 3x", "Look at Me Now", "Beautiful People", "She Ain't You", "Wet the Bed", "My Last", "Body 2 Body" and "Birthday Cake".[41] On May 8, 2012, Brown appeared on Dancing with the Stars (US) to perform "Turn Up the Music".[42] For the performance, Brown and his dancers wore suits.[42] He later performed the song at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards, held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Paradise, Nevada on May 20, 2012.[43] The performance featured projected images on the stage backdrop and BMX bike stunt troupes racing around the stage, as Brown performed choreographed routines while lip synching.[43][44] His performance was met with a mixed response from celebrities, most notably Joe Jonas, Pink, and Carey Hart, who all criticized the singer for lip synching.[44] On June 8, 2012, Brown appeared on NBC's Today show and performed "Turn Up the Music", "Don't Wake Me Up", "Yeah 3x" and "Forever", as part of the program's "Summer Concert Series".[45] At the 2012 BET Awards on July 1, 2012, he performed a medley of "Turn Up the Music" and "Don't Wake Me Up", and appeared shirtless for the performance with half his body spray painted in grey.[46] Brown performed acrobatic moves with six backup dancers "under triangle-shaped beams" as green and red flashing lights appeared throughout the stage.[46]

Carpe Diem Tour[edit]

Brown embarked on his Carpe Diem Tour in November 2012 to further promote Fortune. The tour so far includes 13 shows in Europe, four shows in Africa, and one show in Asia.[47][48][49] It began on November 14, 2012 in Denmark.[50]

Singles[edit]

"Turn Up the Music" was released as the album's lead single.[51] The song was sent to contemporary hit radio in the United States on February 7, 2012,[52] and released via iTunes Stores worldwide on February 10, 2012.[53] Music critics gave "Turn Up the Music" positive reviews; they praised its production and compared the song to "Forever" (2008) and "Yeah 3x" (2010).[54][55] "Turn Up the Music" peaked at number 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart,[56] becoming Brown's eleventh top ten single on the chart.[57] It also reached the top ten in Australia and New Zealand,[58] and peaked at number one in the United Kingdom, becoming Brown's first UK number one single.[59] "Sweet Love" was released as the second single from the album. The song was sent to US urban contemporary radio on April 10, 2012,[60] and released via iTunes Stores worldwide on April l3, 2012.[61] "Sweet Love" generated mixed reviews from music critics, who praised the sexiness of the song but were critical of its production.[62][63] The song reached number 89 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart,[34] and number 25 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[35]

"Till I Die", featuring rappers Big Sean and Wiz Khalifa, was released as the third single from Fortune. The song was released via iTunes Stores worldwide on April 13, 2012,[64] and sent to US rhythmic contemporary radio on May 1, 2012.[65] "Till I Die" received positive reviews from music critics, most of whom praised the production.[66][67] It peaked at number 17 on the US Rap Songs chart,[68] and at number 14 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[35] "Don't Wake Me Up" was released as the album's fourth single. The song was released via iTunes Stores worldwide on May 18, 2012,[69] and sent to US contemporary hit radio on June 12, 2012.[70] "Don't Wake Me Up" received positive reviews from music critics who praised its production.[71][72] It reached the top ten in Australia, Austria, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway and the UK.[73][74][75][76] In the US, "Don't Wake Me Up" peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming Brown's twelfth top ten single on the chart, and his second top ten single from Fortune, following "Turn Up the Music".[34] "Don't Judge Me" was sent to US urban contemporary radio on August 14, 2012, as the album's fifth single.[77] The song peaked at number 21 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart,[35] and at number 67 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[34]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[78]
The A.V. Club D[79]
Chicago Tribune 2/4 stars[80]
Entertainment Weekly C–[81]
Los Angeles Times 2/4 stars[82]
The Observer 2/5 stars[83]
PopMatters 2/10[84]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[85]
The Scotsman 2/5 stars[86]
Spin 4/10[87]

Fortune received generally negative reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 38, based on 14 reviews.[88] Allmusic's Andy Kellman criticized its lyrics as "shameless" and found "few dimensions" in its music, calling it "an album of unapologetic swashbuckling" that is "saved ... from being a disaster" by some of its production.[78] Kyle Anderson of Entertainment Weekly found the songwriting perfunctory and commented that the album "furthers the uncomfortable and frustrating disconnect between Brown's hotheaded personal life and his oddly edgeless musical persona."[81] Jon Caramanica of The New York Times criticized Brown's "brazenness" and stated, "Listening to Mr. Brown at the deepest level balances aesthetic pleasures, when they happen, with superegolike self-protection against aligning oneself too closely with someone who's done such heinous things."[89]

Hermione Hoby of The Observer panned the album's songs as "ugly stuff".[83] David Amidon of PopMatters panned its misogynistic lyrics and found Fortune, "to the sober mind", "another overload of poor decisions just as Brown's previous two albums have been."[84] Melissa Lockers of Time called it "one of the blandest R&B albums in recent memory" and wrote that it "feels like Chris Brown’s musical equivalent of a honeymoon phase, except for the fact that it's completely remorseless."[90] Evan Rytlewski of The A.V. Club criticized Brown's "no apologies mantra" and called the album "the unmistakable work of the same petty, violent-tempered hardhead that the tabloids have documented so well."[79] Mic Wright of musicOMH used his review of the album as a forum on Brown's public controversies and stated, "Fortune is the kind of record that will please Brown's many deluded female fans, but we cannot with good conscience give it a single star."[91]

James Reed of The Boston Globe complimented "Don't Wake Me Up" as "a thumping club cut that's irresistible on an otherwise forgettable album."[92] Barry Walters of Spin commented that, apart from "Don't Wake Me Up", Fortune "makes it easy for Chris Brown's haters and harder on his many fans", writing that "there's more than the usual number of midtempo ballads that once again mix sex-fantasy titillation with his now-familiar toxic defensiveness".[87] Chicago Tribune writer Greg Kot called the album "a pure-pop candy cane, meant to be enjoyed, consumed and forgotten", commenting that "thinking would ruin everything" and "its mixture of smut, vulnerability, menace and dancefloor celebration tells us next to nothing about what is going on between Chris Brown’s ears, which is probably for the best."[80] Randall Roberts of the Los Angeles Times likened its trendy musical style to a product's shelf life and attributed it to "Brown's reflex of curbing his creative impulses at nearly every turn, with a few killer exceptions, and showing a conservatism unbecoming such a self-styled renegade."[82]

Accolades[edit]

Fortune garnered a nomination for Favorite Soul/R&B Album at the 2012 American Music Awards, but lost to Rihanna's Talk That Talk.[93][94] and Best Urban Contemporary Album at the 55th Grammy Award but lost to Frank Ocean's Channel Orange. The album was also nominated for World's Best Album at the 2012 but lost out to the award.World Music Awards,[95][96]

Commercial performance[edit]

Fortune made its debut on the Irish Albums Chart at number four on July 5, 2012, making it Brown's third top-ten album in that country.[97][98] In the Netherlands, the album debuted on the Dutch Albums Chart at number one on July 7, 2012, giving Brown his first number-one album in that country.[99] In the United Kingdom, Fortune debuted at number one on July 14, 2012, selling 29,980 copies in its first week, and giving Brown his first UK number-one album.[100][101] Fortune debuted at number nine on the Japanese Albums Chart, selling 9,922 copies for the week ending July 16, 2012.[102] The album also debuted at number six on the Canadian Albums Chart,[103] and number 10 on the Swiss Albums Chart.[99] In France, Fortune debuted at number eight, selling 6,434 copies in its first week, and becoming Brown's first album to enter the top ten.[104][105] The album debuted at number two on the Australian ARIA Albums Chart, giving Brown his highest charting album on that chart.[106] In New Zealand, Fortune debuted at number one, becoming Brown's first number-one album in that country.[107]

In the United States, Fortune debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, with first-week sales of 135,000 copies, giving Brown his second number-one album in the US.[108] Fortune became the first R&B album to reach number one in both the US and UK since Beyoncé's 4 (2011).[109] However, the album's first-week sales was less than Brown's previous effort F.A.M.E. (2011), which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with 270,000 copies.[108] This made him the second R&B artist in a month to debut atop the chart with a soft entry.[108] In its second week, Fortune experienced a 67% sales decrease, selling 45,000 copies, and causing the album to drop to number four.[110] In its third week, the album fell out of the top ten to number 13, selling 26,600 copies.[111] As of September 2012, Fortune has sold 303,600 copies in the United States.[112] As of May 18, 2013, Fortune has sold 437,108 copies in the United States.[113]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Turn Up the Music"   Chris Brown, Harvey Mason, Jr., Damon Thomas, Alexander "Fuego" Palmer, Michael "Mike J" Jimenez, Terence Coles The Underdogs, Fuego 3:48
2. "Bassline"   Brown, Andrew "Pop" Wansel, David Johnson, Warren "Oak" Felder, Ronald "Flippa" Colson, Robert Calloway, Andrea Simms @PopWansel, @Dayvijae (co.) 3:59
3. "Till I Die" (featuring Big Sean and Wiz Khalifa) Brown, Nathaniel "Danja" Hills, Marcella Araica, Sean Anderson, Cameron Thomaz Danja 3:56
4. "Mirage" (featuring Nas) Brown, Harmony Samuels, Eric Bellinger, Kevin "K-Mac" McCall, Nasir Jones Harmony AKA H-Money 4:17
5. "Don't Judge Me"   Brown, Nasri Atweh, Adam Messinger The Messengers 4:00
6. "2012"   Brown, Adonis Shropshire, Robert Newt, Brown, McCall, Meshawn Jones Adonis, McCall (co.) 4:08
7. "Biggest Fan"   Brown, Andrew Harr, Jermaine Jackson, Andre Davidson, Sean Davidson, Amber Streeter The Runners, The Monarch (co.) 3:59
8. "Sweet Love"   Brown, Jamal "Polow da Don" Jones, Jason "JP" Perry, Greg Curtis, Cory Marks, Tommy Doyle, Jr. Polow da Don, Perry 3:20
9. "Strip" (featuring Kevin McCall) Brown, McCall, Streeter, J. Lonny Bereal, Christopher Whitacre, Justin Henderson Tha Bizness 2:47
10. "Stuck on Stupid"   Brown, Brian "BK" Kennedy, Dante Jones, Dewain Whitmore, Jr. Kennedy, D. Jones (co.) 3:59
11. "4 Years Old"   Brown, I. Ali, J. Jones, Tommy Hitz, Samuel Jean Polow da Don, Hitz 3:49
12. "Party Hard / Cadillac (Interlude)" (featuring Sevyn) Brown, Kennedy, Matthew Samuels, Streeter, Whitmore Jr., Shirley Murdock, Larry Troutman, Roger Troutman Kennedy, Boi-1da, Brown 5:14
13. "Don't Wake Me Up"   Brown, Jean-Baptiste, Ryan Buendia, Michael McHenry, Nick "Free School" Mash, William Orbit, Alain Whyte, Kennedy, Priscilla "Priscilla Renea" Hamilton, Marco "Benny" Benassi, Allessandro "Alle" Benassi Benny & Alle Benassi, Free School, Orbit, Kennedy (co.) 3:42
14. "Trumpet Lights" (featuring Sabrina Antoinette) Brown, J. Jones, Jerome "J Roc" Harmon Polow da Don, Harmon (co.) 3:47

(*) Denotes co-producer

Sample credits
  • "Party Hard / Cadillac (Interlude)" contains a portion of "Computer Love", as written by Shirley Murdock, Larry Troutman and Roger Troutman.[116]

Personnel[edit]

Credits for Fortune adapted from Allmusic.[117]

Charts[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label Edition(s)
Ireland[17] June 29, 2012 CD, digital download Sony Music Entertainment Standard, deluxe
Germany[16][129]
Netherlands[18][130]
France[20][131] July 2, 2012
United Kingdom[19][132] RCA Records
Canada[21] July 3, 2012
United States[15]
Japan[22] July 4, 2012 CD Sony Music Entertainment Deluxe
Australia[23][133] July 6, 2012 CD, digital download Standard, deluxe
New Zealand[24][134]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]