Chris Brown ft. Joelle James ‘Scream’ Song Review

Now after reviewing the last Chris Brown track, I really didn’t feel like giving any more of his music a go. I had come to the conclusion that he just wasn’t the artist for me and that it would be a waste of time trying to make myself understand why people like his music so much. But then I thought, that’s a bloody stupid thing to do. Chris Brown is one of the biggest selling and most popular male singers in the world, why the ‘heck wouldn’t you review his music! So yeah, I’m here again and this time we have his new track ‘Scream’, a track that hasn’t garnered as much attention as I thought it would, but nonetheless, we shall dive into it…

I think this track is actually worse than the last one I heard and it genuinely annoys me to say that. Chris Brown has an unreal voice and is such a greatly talented performer, but goodness could you reign it back in for at least a moment! This song was one of the pitchiest, most self-indulgent tracks I’ve heard all year. Every note was crazily over-sung and over-dramatised to the extent that I couldn’t make out half of the songs lyrics. The chorus was actually laughably over-done. The little ‘scream’ falsetto, though impressively high pitched, sounded horrifically over-the-top; almost like he was satirising his own voice. It just got ridiculously wobbly and whiny; despite three listens of the track I still just couldn’t understand what the ‘heck was going on.

Production wise the song was solid, the backing instrumentals were really well mixed and the vocals were mastered appropriately above the accompaniment. The ambient-dream pop styled instrumentation could of quite easily come off as just background noise, but it didn’t, it sounded well textured with a great deal of clarity from layer to layer.

Musicality wise the instrumentation, though interesting and different, did become vastly stale and repetitive. There were no dynamic changes, no changes in progression and it just made the song float on by without really cutting down any paths; there was no adventure to this track. The little trap-style drum track I’m never a fan of as I think it’s pretty lazy as well as unoriginal; it rips a lot of heart away from the instrumentation.

Here is where I’d typically talk about the vocal performance, but I don’t know what to say. There were no melodies here at all, just notes that were garbled about all over the place with no cohesion. It meant that verses became nonsensical and choruses lost all formation; there were no hooks here.

Lyrically the song was the usual tripe Chris Brown sings about, it would be nice for the odd metaphor or thought-provoking line to be included here or there but I guess ‘nah, who needs poetry anyway!

The feature of Joelle James was conflicting to me. I liked how she was introduced early and became a viable part of the track, but she offered nothing outside of what Chris Brown was already doing. She crooned her way through her parts, again over-singing and being over-zealous with her delivery; just felt like the same performance just with a female tone.

3/10 – Please Chris, please just stop wailing your ways through tracks.


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