Pop Music

Chris Brown does his best LMFAO impression with "Turn Up The Music"

Chris Brown singles have always come in two flavors: Sexy & Braggadocious and Song & Dance -- songs that are either about busting a nut or busting a move, regardless of production or tempo. Edgier singles from his catalogue, like "Look at Me Now," "I Can Transform Ya" and even the recent "Strip" fall into the more preferable S&B category. ("With You," his only single in this category to be less about come-ons and more about honestly falling in love, is still Chris Brown at his braggadocious best because of its smooth lyrics and the way he sings 'em.)

Tracks like "Forever" and "Run It!," meanwhile, are a solely Song & Dance affair, geared purely for dancing your cares away. They're great for a few months, but after radio stops playing them, so do fans. His latest single, "Turn Up the Music," which dropped last week, is another Song & Dance track, with ready-made sonic opportunities for maximum fist-bumpage.

The song's lyrics, recycled from every song EVER about music and dancing, are optimal for the occasional house-party sing-alongs -- predictable enough to stumble through should you not be capable of even remembering the words to its more enjoyable Chris Brown counterpart, "Yeah 3x." This is bad for Brown, though, because the world doesn't need another Usher-meets-LMFAO rip-off on the radio, on our iPods or at our parties right now.

Brown's most interesting singles are typically his least predictable at the time of release -- though that sometimes doesn't translate to sales, as was the case for his most recent single, "Strip," which, based on its Bizness-helmed production merits alone, should have done better on the charts than it did (it peaked at number 51).

While "Turn Up the Music" shifts gears from the R&B hum of "Strip," it's not for the better. Instead of taking two steps forward, Brown is dancing his career two steps back. Shame on Brown, who has a well-deserved reputation as a damn good dancer, for not putting his toe-tapping foot down and saying no to a house-style dance break following the whoa-whoas of the first chorus, a dance break that holds striking similarity to the characteristic synth squeaks of deadmau5 grandeur.

And it's not just the production that lacks originality. The lyrics -- "If you're sexy and you know it, put your hands in the air" and "Turn up the music, just turn it up louder" -- are void of creativity, too. When LMFAO did it, at least they included words like "animal-print pants out of control" and "like Bruce Lee, I got the claw."

Any label exec may think that "Turn Up the Music" could do well because of its chants and hooks and this, that and the other, but its predictability surely will be its downfall. Though "Strip" was just as predictably a swaggerific ode to getting women to take their clothes off, at least the blunt honesty of the chants in the chorus of "Strip" were original: "Goddamn you sexy, goddamn you sexy." Again, it was Brown at his braggadocious best.

Nicki By The Numbers: The much-anticipated video for "Turn Me On" by David Guetta featuring Nicki Minaj came out today. In it, we see Guetta create doll-faced human beings bearing much resemblance to the drones of "i, Robot." Minaj, the pink-haired monster to Guetta's 21st Century Dr. Frankenstein, is hunted by the other manufactured villagers as she sings -- and raps -- about, quite literally, being turned on.

The new clip comes on the heels of Minaj's polarizing video for "Stupid Hoe," which garnered the rapper-then-singer-then-rapper notched a YouTube record for the most views of a single video in 24 hours with 4.8 million views.

But it doesn't stop there for Minaj's Barbz (read: pack of die-hard fans). When Madonna releases her own official video for her highly anticipated new single, "Give Me All Your Luvin'," on Thursday during American Idol, you can expect to see a featured appearance by Nicki Minaj -- and M.I.A. -- too.

She Should Be So Lucky: Celebrating her 25th year in the music industry, Australian pop queen Kylie Minogue will release a greatest hits album highlighting songs from her now four decade-long career in pop. The catch? All songs included are rumored to be orchestral reworkings of her big and not-so-big hits.

Movers & Shakers: On the Billboard 200 albums chart, Adele still sits at number one with 21 for the seventeenth week, marking the longest run for an album at the top since soundtrack to The Bodyguard finished a twenty-week run in 1993.

...And as predicted by anyone anywhere, Adele's third single to be lifted from 21, "Set Fire To The Rain," moved up to number one this week on the Billboard Hot 100, finally overtaking Rihanna's "We Found Love," which now holds at number two. LMFAO did the same thing to Rihanna a few weeks ago with "Sexy And I Know It" but only for a week.

Lower, with his Etta James-sampling "Good Feeling," Flo Rida remains at number three for another week. David Guetta and Nicki Minaj jump six spots to number four with "Turn Me On," while Katy Perry's "The One That Got Away" moves up a slot to number five. Jessie J's British hit "Domino," which sits at number one for the second week across the pond, is slowly inching its way up, too, currently sitting at number ten.

Perhaps the biggest surprise in the top ten, though, is Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)," an updated "Since U Been Gone" anthem, which jumped thirteen spots to number eight this week and is currently the only song to beat "Set Fire To The Rain" on the iTunes chart.

Follow Backbeat on Twitter: @westword_music

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Cory Lamz
Contact: Cory Lamz

Latest Stories