Speaking of fortune, Chris Brown’s has been remarkably good in the past few years. Commercially, at least, he seems to have rebounded from his 2009 assault on Rihanna, his girlfriend at the time. He even won his first Grammy earlier this year for 2011’s “F.A.M.E.”
More astounding than turning his career around, though, is how he maintains his popularity with such bland music. “Fortune” is full of some of the most boilerplate R&B and urban pop to have been released this year. Strip away the million-dollar beats and the star cameos (including rappers Nas and Wiz Khalifa) and the album, his fifth in seven years, rings jarringly hollow.