Do you have a spare two hours and thirty-eight minutes? Because that’s how long it will take you to listen to Chris Brown‘s newest album in its entirety. ‘Heartbreak on a Full Moon‘ spreads its self across 45 tracks on two discs. Just incase 45 tracks wasn’t enough, Brown also dropped a bonus track.
The album has been received by the public with mixed opinions. It’s Brown’s first official release since his 2015 ‘Royalty‘, so loyal fans (otherwise know as ‘Team Breezy’) were over the moon to have almost three hours of new content to relish. Others appropriately see the album as a ‘bloated’ body of work, full of repetitive and characterless tracks, simply to create a bulky and busy album. A complete case of quantity over quality.
So why such an extensive project? Billboard.
Brown posted on his Instagram account some clumsily presented rules on how his fans should listen to his new music in order for him to ‘receive the recognition and success he deserves’.
Regardless of his already highly successful career, multiple awards and violent history he astonishingly believes he ‘deserves’ more.
I understand the charts to be a pure representation of what music is currently loved and enjoyed by the fans. Not a result of being dictated on how, when and where you should consume it.
Because of the sheer volume of tracks on the album, it could pull in as many steams as 2-4 smaller albums could. Pushing the album further and further up the charts even if no particular tracks are being highly streamed.
In recent years, the rules of charting changed to keep up with the times as streaming songs were taken into consideration when earning certifications. For Billboard 200, each digital sale of 10 songs from one album counts as one sale of that album. This measures as every iTunes purchase of the 45 track album counts as four and a half album sales. Similarly every 1,500 streams of a track on an album results as one sale of the album. Meaning Brown would achieve an album sale three to four times quicker than average 12 track album. So essentially cheating his way around the RIAA rules.
For album sales, Brown could be onto a winner. But for single sales? Not so much. Many listeners will justifiably be put off by the pure mass of the album and not dig to find the jewels, meaning fewer plays on singular tracks.
Brown revealed last Tuesday morning on his Hot97 interview that he currently has 800 unreleased tracks at the moment. Many argue that this means he’s spreading himself too thin to produce quality music, whilst other delusional’s think each track to be as exceptional as the last.
So an overloaded album full of unmemorable and indistinguishable tracks created purely as marketing strategy or a deluxe showpiece?