Local Wire

Chris Brown

Chris Brown is well known to screaming teenagers, but he broke out to a wider audience at this year's MTV Video Music Awards. There, he perfectly parroted the Gloved One's Moonwalk, prompting Justin Timberlake to tell the world he felt old. That indicated the torch had officially been passed. Brown is more than able as the standard-bearer for teen-pop sensations, a distinction with a long and glorious history (Elvis, Michael Jackson, Usher). The first singles off Brown's just-released second album, Exclusive — "Wall to Wall" and especially "Kiss Kiss" — are fiery, and the requisite power ballad, "With You" (underscored with a deliciously unexpected acoustic guitar riff), is sure to inspire heavy petting after junior-high dances across the country. Sure, the tracks are generally overproduced and disingenuously glorify "playing the field" one minute and extol commitment the next, but what were you expecting? Next, you're going to complain about the deluge of guest appearances, ranging from Lil Wayne (obligatory) to will.i.am (vomitaceous) to Kanye West (ill-conceived) to T-Pain (Lik-M-Aid tasty). But Brown, now 19, is good-looking, has good moves, and even cowrote many of Exclusive's tunes. Signed, sealed, and delivered, he's yours.

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Ben Westhoff
Contact: Ben Westhoff