X is Chris Brown's sixth studio album that was released on September 12, 2014 by RCA Records and CBE Entertainment.
- Add Me In
- Loyal (featuring Lil Wayne and Tyga)
- New Flame (featuring Usher and Rick Ross)
- Songs On 12 Play (featuring Trey Songz)
- 101 (Interlude)
- Drown In It (featuring R. Kelly)
- Came To Do (featuring Akon)
- Time For Love
- Lady In A Glass Dress (Interlude)
- Autumn Leaves (featuring Kendrick Lamar)
- Do Better (featuring Brandy)
- See You Around
- Don't Be Gone Too Long
- Body Shots
- Drunk Texting (featuring Jhene Aiko)
- Lost In Ya Love
- Love More (featuring Nicki Minaj)
- Don't Think They Know (featuring Aaliyah)
- Fine China
On November 8, 2012, in an interview with Power 106's (KPWR) at Los Angeles, California, Brown debuted the track, titled "Nobody's Perfect." The song was supposed to be his first single for his upcoming sixth album, under the working title of "Carpe Diem" which was due to be released in 2013.
The single was never released and after concluding his Carpe Diem Tour in 2012, word of Brown's next studio album started to develop.
MTV News confirmed development of the album, with Brown collaborating with producers, such as Timbaland, Danja and Diplo, among others.
On March 26, 2013, Brown announced the release of "X" by visited in various interviews and listening sessions.
In an interview with Ebony, when Brown spoke of taking his music in a different direction and changing his sound from pop-infused and sexually explicit of the previous album Fortune, to a more mature, soulful and vulnerable theme for the album.
Brown said during an interview for Rolling Stone: "I tried to stay away from the Euro beats, and not go totally pop. I wanted to put that classic essence of R&B and soul with the new age of music now. There's a lot of live instruments, and a lot less Auto-Tune. I really wanted to demonstrate my vocal ability, creating the vibe of me singing along with a band."
During the same interview for Rolling Stone, he explained the significance of the title, saying: "It's the Roman numeral for 10. 5/5/89 is my birthday: 5 plus 5 is 10, and this is my tenth year since I got into music. 'X' is the 24th letter in the alphabet, and I will turn 24 when this album comes out. 'X' is also a metaphor, as in 'ex-girlfriend': it implies you're progressing and moving on in life, not holding on to the past and your old ways."
Recording & Production
In March 2013, Brown spoke about working with artists and producers, such as Pharrell Williams, Ariana Grande, Kendrick Lamar, Ludacris, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Wiz Khalifa, Timbaland, Diplo, Danja and RoccStar.
On July 4, 2013, Brown confirmed the guest features on the album, including Nicki Minaj, Kendrick Lamar, Rihanna, Wiz Khalifa, B.o.B and Kelly Rowland, among others; however, neither Rowland nor Rihanna appear on the album.
At the same time, the production would be confirmed by Timbaland, Diplo, Polow da Don, Danja, Pharrell and Drumma Boy.
On August 5, 2014, Brown said that he had "about 50 songs" to choose from for the album.
"X" debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200, with first-week sales of 146,000 copies in the United States. By November 2015, it has sold 404,000 copies in the United States.
The album was certified platinum by the RIAA in March 2016 for combined album sales, on-demand audio, video streams and track sales equivalent of 1 million.
"X" received generally positive reviews from critics.
At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 63, based on 11 reviews.
Andy Kellman of AllMusic said, "Brown combines memorable hooks with some stellar production work on the rubbery disco-funk of "Add Me In" (courtesy of Danja) and the blithe, swaying "Time for Love" (a collaboration with Jean-Baptiste and Free School). In these and a few other songs, romantic affection, expressed with seemingly genuine sweetness, takes precedence over sexual aggression and petulance."
Brad Wete of Billboard said, "Once gratuitous fillers are skipped, gems appear, especially on the closing half, where Brown is lucid about his tabloid love life."
Christopher R. Weingarten of Rolling Stone said, "Chris Brown's sixth album is adventurous musically and a total mess lyrically – it's almost defiantly oblivious to his past as a domestic-abuser."
Mikael Wood of the Los Angeles Times said, "Though it sags toward the end, the long-delayed X contains some of his sharpest work, including the propulsive "Time for Love" and "Add Me In", a chewy soul-funk tune in which he accents his vocals with percussive gasps a la Michael Jackson."
Marcus K. Dowling of HipHopDX stated, "Personality aside, Chris Brown's ability to succeed artistically at delivering sounds in all three sectors of urban Pop makes this release a great, yet disjointed listen."
Miranda Johnson of XXL said, "X certainly proves that Chris Brown's talent will forever shine through over whatever troubles come his way. It's safe to say that Chris Brown will forever remain the consumer's guilty pleasure."
Evan Rytlewski of The A.V. Club stated, "Brown has emerged with his strongest album, and the first since his 2009 implosion where tolerating his toxic worldview isn't a prerequisite for enjoying it."
Alexa Camp of Slant Magazine said, "Aside from the standout club banger "Add Me In", which is steeped in arithmetic and trigonometry metaphors, and "101", which finds Brown doing "101 on the 101", the album's lyrics largely eschew mathematical objects in favor of soul-baring like "Autumn Leaves" and sex talk like "Songs on 12 Play", which likens a girl to a song from the titular R. Kelly album."