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Album review: Chris Brown’s ‘Royalty’

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Mike Pizzo

Three stars

Chris Brown Royalty

It’s hard to believe there aren’t protesters outside RCA Records asking why it still employs Chris Brown after he assaulted Rihanna. Following the money will reveal that even with his sordid past, he still manages to churn out endless Auto-Tuned hits. On Royalty, he doesn’t attempt to make a cohesive album, but looks to solidify his position by producing another handful of radio-ready cuts, attempting to satisfy multiple audiences at once. Sliminess notwithstanding, it’s hard not to nod your head to the cheesy ’80s grooves of “Fine by Me” or “Zero,” even if the message is endlessly eye rolling. There’s trend chasing on the Jack Ü-esque “Anyway” or Future ripoff “Wrist,” neither of which features the aforementioned artists. His strongest moment is the G-Funk “Picture Me Rollin’,” which clearly borrows from 2Pac, Nate Dogg and Warren G. But strip away the trends and you only have Brown’s lyrics, which still define him as a royal heel.

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