Chris Brown's 'Fortune' a miss for critics

Tue Jul 3, 2012 10:06pm EDT
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - R&B singer and rapper Chris Brown may be trying to redeem his tarnished image, but he has failed to impress critics with his latest album "Fortune," which was released on Tuesday.

Brown's fifth studio album follows on the heels of his 2011 record "F.A.M.E," which debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart in March last year and won a Grammy for best R&B album.

But if early reviews are any indication, Fortune appears to be a misfire, as most critics appear to have been unable to ignore Brown's history.

The 23-year-old singer is currently midway through a five-year probation sentence after pleading guilty to beating ex-girlfriend Rihanna on the eve of the Grammys in February 2009.

Three years later, he is unable to shake his bad-boy reputation -- last month, he and rapper Drake made headlines after a bloody bar brawl among their respective followers.

Time Magazine's Melissa Locker gave both Brown and "Fortune" a damning review, questioning why the music industry had forgiven the singer for his crimes and calling the album "boring." She urged readers to avoid buying it.

Randall Roberst of the Los Angeles Times gave two out of four stars, calling Fortune "the work of an artist who has gone all-in with a handful of commercial tracks designed to get Our Hero paid and back in America's good graces."

The album scored 40 out of 100 on the review website   Continued...