If there are indeed no second acts in American lives, someone neglected to tell Chris Brown. Less than a year after his assault on then girlfriend Rihanna, the PG-rated R&B dreamboat (two platinum albums, high-profile endorsement deals)?turned?pop culture pariah has returned with a new record. Frankly, a longer hiatus seemed in order, but the public has already spoken: Graffiti‘s swaggering lead single, ”I Can Transform Ya,” is a top 20 hit.
Most of Graffiti -- that is, the songs that do not detail what ex-girlfriend Rihanna and the rest of the world have done to him -- is a natural progression for Chris Brown. Like many young cred-seeking male singers who have just exited their teenage years, Brown clumsily emphasizes womanizing and hedonism and balances it out with a couple clean and empty ballads. Out of this portion of the album, only a couple songs leave a lasting impression, and when they do, the silly things that come out of Brown’s mouth tend to be the reason; take “As stingy as you are, I think you ready,” part of “Take My Time”’s chorus and hopefully no woman’s idea of an effective bedroom line.
CHRIS BROWN"Graffiti" (Jive) There it is, reasonably well hidden, 3 minutes 38 seconds into “Lucky Me,” the 11th of 13 tracks on “Graffiti,” the third album by Chris Brown: the moment of contrition. Up through that point he tried out some other strategies for publicly facing his tarnished ….