Why Does Chris Brown’s New Album Have 40 Songs?
True Detective’s underwhelming and absurdly convoluted second season should be remembered for two things: Colin Farrell’s coke binge and its bleakly true maxim, “We get the world we deserve.” The latter applies to the reality of how music streaming has effected the tabulation of album sales. Regardless of what tracks from an album are being played, or in what order, 1,500 streams from an album equal one album-equivalent unit. If you’re a thirsty pop artist of note, you can theoretically game the system by packing as many as 20 tracks into an album, in the process rolling up more album-equivalent units—and thus album “sales”—as listeners check the album out.
This may be the most—or only—sensible explanation for today’s news about Chris Brown’s forthcoming album. All of the singer’s new singles have flopped, and his only noteworthy recent headlines include a canceled fight with Soulja Boy and reported drug use. And yet, here we are: Brown revealed on social media that his upcoming album Heartbreak on a Full Moon, which doesn’t have a release date, will be a double disc project. This double disc project will be 40 songs long. Forty!
That’s 40 Chris Brown songs foisted on us, a fate crueler than when Jay Z pulled all of his solo albums from Spotify and left that service’s users with just his R. Kelly collaborations. The clear moral question regarding Chris Brown’s new album is if you can reconcile with his documented hatred, and abuse, of women long enough to sit through a two-hour LP. The practical question asks what the point of doing that would even be.
Brown has had hits, but he’s never released a good album. A Chris Brown double-album is about as pathetic as a Javale McGee triple-double, except the latter is many times less reprehensible than the former.