Indigo (Chris Brown album)

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Indigo
Chris Brown - Indigo.png
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 28, 2019[1]
Recorded2016–2019
Studio
Genre
Length123:08
Label
Producer
Chris Brown chronology
Heartbreak on a Full Moon
(2017)
Indigo
(2019)
Slime & B
(2020)
Deluxe edition cover
Indigo Extended
Indigo Extended
Singles from Indigo
  1. "Undecided"
    Released: January 4, 2019
  2. "Back to Love"
    Released: April 11, 2019
  3. "Wobble Up"
    Released: April 18, 2019
  4. "No Guidance"
    Released: June 8, 2019
  5. "Heat"
    Released: June 20, 2019
  6. "Don't Check on Me"
    Released: June 25, 2019

Indigo is the ninth studio album by American singer Chris Brown, released on June 28, 2019, by RCA Records.[1] The album marks his second double album and is a follow-up to his eighth album Heartbreak on a Full Moon (2017). Brown for the album worked with several producers, including Soundz, Hitmaka, Boi-1da, Scott Storch, OG Parker and many others. The album also features various guest appearances by urban and pop artists, including Nicki Minaj, G-Eazy, Tory Lanez, Tyga, Justin Bieber, Juicy J, Juvenile, H.E.R, Tank, Lil Jon, Lil Wayne, Joyner Lucas, Gunna, Trey Songz and Drake.

The official recording sessions for the album began in August 2018 and ended in May 2019, with some songs off of it being recorded earlier during the first months of 2018, while a couple songs from the extended edition were recorded few years prior. The album's aesthetics feature a supernatural and spiritual imagery, conceived by Brown himself, and handled by graffiti artist Saturno, visual artist Jeff Cole, and 3D artists Circle Circle Math and Sarper Baran.

Musically, Indigo is an R&B record, that contains genres such as dancehall, afropop and bounce music as well. Its topics focus on spiritual love, sex, energy and vibrations, outlining a positive turn that follows a bad period in a person's life. The album received generally positive reviews from music critics, that praised the record's production and Brown's vocal performance, but found the long album's length unnecessary unlike its predecessor Heartbreak on a Full Moon.[2]

The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, making it his third number-one album in the country, and first in seven years, since Fortune (2012). Six official singles were released from Indigo: "Undecided", "Back to Love", "Wobble Up", featuring Nicki Minaj and G-Eazy, "No Guidance", featuring Drake, "Heat", featuring Gunna and "Don't Check on Me", featuring Justin Bieber and Ink. "No Guidance" became the biggest hit out of it, peaking at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, and topping the Rhythmic Airplay chart, being substituted by the following released single from the album, "Heat", at the top spot.

Background and recording[edit]

In December 2017, soon after releasing Heartbreak on a Full Moon, Brown showed that he was already working on new songs teasing a "Michael Jackson-inspired" song on his Instagram profile, filming a video from his studio and playing the song supposedly called "Vampire Vibe".[3][4] During the first months of 2018 he posted some snippets of new unreleased songs, showing that he was working on a collaboration mixtape with Jacquees, on another collaboration mixtape with Joyner Lucas, and on his album, rumored to be called Indigo.[5] It was rumored that Brown's next album would be called Indigo from July 2018, when the singer got the word tattooed on his sideburn.

The actual processing work of the project, after the drafting of its concept, began in August 2018, at the end of the "Heartbreak On A Full Moon tour", with "Undecided" being the first song composed following the idealization of the album,[6] while a couple songs from the extended edition, dropped 3 months after the actual album, were composed during the realization of the previous album Heartbreak on a Full Moon, with the song "Technology" made in 2016, and the song "Going At It" in December 2017. The album was fully recorded and mixed at Calabasas Sound in Los Angeles, with the exception of "Undecided", being recorded and mixed at Brown's home studio, named CBE Studios.[7] Brown, during the working of the album, covered the main walls of his studio with animated coloured kaleidoscopes to help his inspiration represent in a better way the album's concept.

Brown explained the album's title during an Instagram live, saying:

The color indigo is a symbol of spirituality and inner awakening, and for the album I composed various songs entitled by colors that represent the emotion of those colors, for example Red represents anger, but the concept of the disc develops on the meaning of indigo. It's also connected to indigo children, and that explains the supernatural mood of the album.[8]

Music and lyrics[edit]

Indigo is an R&B album, which tends to a slightly more pop sound than its predecessor Heartbreak on a Full Moon, containing as well genres such as dancehall and afrobeat. The album's musical style contains R&B songs with productions that sample R&B or hip-hop songs from the 90s and early 2000s, such as "Undecided", "Throw It Back" and "Sorry Enough", and productions that blend the classic R&B style with slight trap influences, that can be heard in songs such as "Indigo", "Early 2k" and "Heat". The album's sound in parts contains influences of tropical music, where songs with percussionist sounds from genres like dancehall, afropop and bounce music prevail, as in songs like "You Like That", "Juice", "Wobble Up", "Back to Love" and "Lurkin'".[9]

On the disc there are 4 double tracks, where there's a progression of different musical productions, and they are "Emerald/Burgandy", "Natural Disaster/Aura", "Trust Issues/Act In" and "BP/No Judgment".[10]

Indigo's topics outline a positive turn that follows a bad period in a person's life, represented as the calm after the storm. In many parts of the album the singer describes how love, in his many forms, connects him to the enlightment of his spirituality. The album, being the follow-up of Heartbreak on a Full Moon, leaves the raw and personal songwriting of that album, as well as its dark and sultry mood, for a way more lighthearted sound and tone, still having few introspective songs like "All on Me" and "Don't Check on Me" that give a closer look at Brown's trials and tribulations.[11]

Release and promotion[edit]

In January 2019, Brown announced a new deal with International global media and his label RCA Records, becoming one of the youngest artists to own his masters at age 29.[12] Indigo was announced as the first album on this deal, with the release of the first single "Undecided" on January 4, 2019.[13] Three days later Brown stated in an Instagram post that his new album would not be as lengthy as Heartbreak on a Full Moon and would focus on "energy, love, light, and happiness", saying that it reminded him of his previous albums Chris Brown, Graffiti and F.A.M.E..[14]

He later previewed and released the second official single from the album, "Back to Love", on April 11, 2019, getting a positive response from fans and critics.[15][16][17] The following week he released the third single from the album, "Wobble Up", featuring Nicki Minaj and G-Eazy,[18] announcing that the album would be released in June, also confirming a summer tour with Nicki Minaj, that ended up never happening.[19][20] In an announcement made on May 2, 2019, Brown announced the list of artists he had been working with for the album, including Tory Lanez, Sage the Gemini, Tyga, Justin Bieber, Juicy J, Juvenile, H.E.R, Tank, Lil Jon, Lil Wayne, Joyner Lucas, Gunna and Drake.[21] Some of these collaborations were surprising to the media, especially Drake, due to their public feud that lasted for several years.[22][23][24] Two days later he said that Indigo would be a 30-track album, in reference to his 30th birthday.[25]

During Brown's birthday party on May 5, 2019, the singer previewed some songs from the album, and announced its release for June 21, 2019, later admitting a possible postponement to a week later, on June 28.[26][27] He later revealed the artwork of the album and its track list between May and June 2019.[28][29] On June 8, Brown released "No Guidance" featuring Drake as a single.[30] It debuted at number nine on the US Billboard Hot 100, making it Chris Brown's 15th top-ten song, and becoming his highest-charting song as a lead artist since 2013's "Loyal" as well.[31]

Indigo was released on June 28, 2019. After its release it wasn't promoted with any journalistic or radio interview or TV appearance, being Brown's first album to have no promotion through media appereances, just being pushed by his social network's accounts.

On October 4, 2019, Brown released a deluxe version of Indigo entitled Indigo Extended, which included 10 additional songs, making the extended version a total of 42 songs.[32]

Artwork[edit]

The cover art for the album was revealed on May 14, 2019, along with the back cover. The front cover artwork was designed by graffiti artist Saturno and features a purple-haired Chris Brown's face in space, surrounded by fictional monsters and flying saucers, while the back cover, designed by visual artist Jeff Cole, continues the supernatural theme with a levitating body over a pyramid.[33] The CD's interior illustrations were handled by 3D artists and concept designers Circle Circle Math and Sarper Baran, that worked over a photoshoot done by Jake Miosge, Brown's official tour photographer.[34][35]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic2.5/5 stars[2]
Complex4.5/5 stars[36]
HipHopDX3/5 stars[37]
Pitchfork4/5 stars[37]
Urban Islandz4/5 stars[38]

The album received mostly positive reviews from critics. Trent Clark of HipHopDX praised the album for its sound and the numerous collaborations, especially with H.E.R. and Drake, but criticized its perceived disorganization as well as for the long duration, saying "As a veteran superstar who has escaped a couple of valid cancellations and has the immense talent to harness, Brown needs to tap into his own soul and belt out a classic like Heartbreak on a Full Moon, but with a congenial amount of tracks".[37] In a positive review, Urban Islandz wrote that "The "No Guidance" singer has already proven himself to have the Midas touch when it comes to making hit records and that's why artists from all over the music industry clamor to get a Chris Brown feature" stating that "He elevated himself to R&B king status with his first two double albums".[38]

Pitchfork's Jules Verano asserted that "Unlike Heartbreak on a Full Moon, the album could've doubtlessly been reduced to 20 tracks. But despite that, the top-notch vocal performances on "You Like That" or "Red", the expert songwriting of "All on Me" and "Back to Love", the perfect song sequencing on the fascinating double tracks, and its overall consistency, make this album unquestionably impressive". Andy Kellman of AllMusic stated that "Not quite as extravagant as the preceding Heartbreak on a Full Moon, Chris Brown's tenth album is merely two hours in length. That still allows more than enough space for the singer to sufficiently cover each one of his modes. Pleasure-seeking club tracks, entitled slow jams, tormented ballads, and yearning pop-R&B love songs -- the last of which still match up best with his voice, virtually unchanged during the last decade -- are all plentiful."[2] Cultural critic and media personality Joe Budden said, in his review for Complex, that "Chris Brown is the only artist in the hip hop, R&B and pop game that can pull off an album that's 2-hours long and make it sound, for the vast majority, incredibly good in every aspect, from its songwriting, to its production to his outstanding vocal performances. He proved that shockingly with Heartbreak on a Full Moon, and he solidified it with Indigo" stating that "Red" and "Come Together" are the album's best moments.[36]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Ceremony Category Result Ref.
47th American Music Awards Favorite Soul/R&B Album Nominated [39]
Billboard Music Awards of 2020 Top R&B Album Nominated [40]
Soul Train Music Awards of 2019 Album of the Year Nominated [41]

Commercial performance[edit]

In the United States, Indigo debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 with 108,000 album-equivalent units, which included 28,000 pure album sales in its first week, making it his third number-one album in the country.[42] The album also accumulated 97.95 million on-demand audio streams in the United States for its track list of 32 songs.[42] In its second week, the album remained in the top ten and fell to number three, earning just under 50,000 album-equivalent units.[43] In its third week, the album dropped to number five on the chart, earning 42,000 album-equivalent units that week.[44] Just over a month after its release, Indigo generated over 1 billion streams.[45] On December 9, 2019, the album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for combined sales and album-equivalent units of over a million units in the United States.[46]

In Australia, the album opened at number three on the ARIA Albums Chart, becoming Brown's sixth top-ten album in the country.[47] In the United Kingdom, the album debuted at number seven on the UK Albums Chart, Brown's seventh top-ten album on the chart.[48]

Tour[edit]

On June 10, 2019, Chris Brown announced an official headlining concert tour where he performed the album throughout United States, titled "Indigoat Tour". The tour began on August 20 in Portland, Oregon, at Moda Center, and ended on October 19 in Anaheim, California, at Honda Center. The opening acts for the tour were Tory Lanez, Ty Dolla $ign, Joyner Lucas and Yella Beezy.[49]

Reception[edit]

The tour was received with very good responses by journalists, that praised its stage settings, and Brown's dancing abilities. Lhana Philavong of The Roar expressed a positive review on the concert that took place in Oakland, California, saying that "Chris Brown’s performance was stunning. From the start, the stage was filled with strobe lights and holograms, emphasizing his dancing. The 3-D renderings of Brown danced beside him, creating an illusion that they were actual dancers following his lead. These effects lit up the previously dull stage into a shining performance. The backdrop screen transitioned to a variety of interesting, futuristic visuals, giving the stage itself an out-of-this world vibe".[50] Jay Cridlin of Tampa Bay Times said that the concert was "a guilty pleasure", wondering if supporting his unique talent should be wrong after the mistakes that he's done, expressing "At what point do we -- can we, should we -- forget about the blowups and restraining orders, and just marvel at the way Brown splits into a backflip and kick-spins a 360 during Drunk Texting?".[51]

The tour was considered a big success, grossing over $30,100,000 in its 37 shows, selling out most of the venues, and being the third most successful hip-hop tour of 2019, after Travis Scott's "Astroworld – Wish You Were Here Tour" and Eminem's "Rapture 2019"[52]

Track listing[edit]

Credits adapted from the album's liner notes and Tidal.[53][54]

Disc 1[55]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Indigo"
3:12
2."Back to Love"
Cam Wallace3:41
3."Come Together" (featuring H.E.R.)3:54
4."Temporary Lover" (featuring Lil Jon)Dem Jointz3:17
5."Emerald / Burgundy" (featuring Juvenile and Juicy J)
  • Part 1 produced by Storch
  • The Rascals
  • Soundz[b]
    Part 2 produced by OG Parker
  • Hitmaka
  • Romano
6:39
6."Red"
  • Brown
  • Anthony D'Annunzio
3:38
7."All I Want" (featuring Tyga)
3:33
8."Wobble Up" (featuring Nicki Minaj and G-Eazy)J.R. Rotem3:41
9."Need a Stack" (featuring Lil Wayne and Joyner Lucas)5:28
10."Heat" (featuring Gunna)Buddah Bless3:52
11."No Guidance" (featuring Drake)4:22
12."Girl of My Dreams"Snipe Young3:22
13."Natural Disaster / Aura"Brown
  • Part 1 produced by OG Parker
  • Smash David
  • Romano
  • Soundz
    Part 2 produced by Don City
  • Soundz[b]
5:03
14."Don't Check on Me" (featuring Justin Bieber and Ink)
  • Ink
  • Sheldon Ferguson
3:24
15."Sorry Enough"4:25
Total length:61:28
Disc 2[55]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
16."Juice"
  • Brown
  • Antonio Stith
3:25
17."You Like That"Brown
  • A1
  • Chizzy
  • Soundz
3:04
18."Troubled Waters"
3:13
19."Take a Risk"Brown
  • Amadeus
  • DiMuro
3:32
20."Lurkin" (featuring Tory Lanez)Rich Skillz2:49
21."Trust Issues / Act In"
  • Part 1 produced by Ayo
  • Keyz
  • Marco Mavy
  • Ford
    Part 2 produced by Cossom
  • July the Producer
4:58
22."Cheetah"
  • Brown
  • Floyd "A1" Bentley
  • Ellaina Joseph
  • Bobby Turner, Jr.
  • Jordan George
  • Lyrica Anderson
  • A1
  • Chizzy
2:35
23."Undecided"
  • Brown
  • Ferraro
  • Stith
3:05
24."BP / No Judgement"Brown
  • Part 1 produced by DY
  • Gezin
  • Onlyxne
    Part 2 produced by Williamson
  • Thomas
6:20
25."Side Nigga"
  • Brown
  • D'Annunzio
  • Wallis Lane
  • Smash David
  • Nick Fouryn[a]
  • Ambroff[a]
3:55
26."Throw It Back"BrownJ.R. Rotem3:06
27."All on Me"Brown
  • Snipe Young
  • Soundz
3:51
28."Sexy" (featuring Trey Songz)
D. A. Doman4:18
29."Let’s Smoke" (Physical Edition bonus track)BrownRich Skillz3:08
30."Early 2K" (featuring Tank)
  • Storch
  • Avedon[a]
3:46
Total length:51:57
Bonus tracks[55]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
31."Dear God"BrownSmash David4:02
32."Part of the Plan"
  • Brown
  • Turner, Jr.
  • Anderson
  • A1
  • Chizzy
  • ISM
  • Jones
3:03
33."Play Catch Up"Brown
  • Smash David
  • Soundz[a]
  • Dave Sava6e[c]
3:00
Total length:62:02
Extended edition[56]
No.TitleProducer(s)Length
1."Lower Body" (featuring Davido)Kiddominant3:03
2."Overtime"Sam Sumser4:35
3."Under the Influence"Kiddominant3:04
4."Outy When I Drive / Blamed" (featuring Rich the Kid, Yella Beezy and Sage the Gemini)
6:30
5."Nose Dive" (featuring DaniLeigh)
  • Caleb Nordelus
  • Ellery "EMack" McKinney
3:18
6."Flashbacks"
  • DZL
  • RyKeyz
2:52
7."Problem with You"D.A. Doman2:14
8."Going at It"D.A. Doman2:48
9."Technology"
  • Ashley Valentine
  • Melvin Moore
  • A1
3:28
10."Tell Me How You Feel" (featuring Tory Lanez)
  • Th3ory
  • Bizness Boi
  • Ye Ali
3:29

Notes

  • ^[a] signifies a co-producer
  • ^[b] signifies an additional producer
  • ^[c] signifies an uncredited co-producer
  • ^[d] signifies an uncredited additional producer
  • "Let's Smoke" was not included on streaming versions of the album internationally nor on Apple Music in the US; thus the track listing was cut down to 32 songs (42 including the Extended Edition)
  • "Indigo" and "Heat" features uncredited background vocals by Tank
  • "Trust Issues" features uncredited vocals by Sage the Gemini
  • "Juice" features background vocals by Tone Stith
  • "Undecided" features background vocals by Felicia Ferraro

Sample credits

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the album's liner notes and Tidal.[53][54]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[92] Gold 20,000double-dagger
Canada (Music Canada)[93] Gold 40,000double-dagger
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[94] Gold 10,000double-dagger
New Zealand (RMNZ)[95] Platinum 15,000double-dagger
United Kingdom (BPI)[96] Silver 60,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[97] Platinum 1,000,000double-dagger

double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

References[edit]

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