'Forever' was originally written by Chris Brown as a jingle for a chewing gum commercial... The multi-award-winning 19 year old then spruced it up and turned it into a Top 5 single to give him a second massive UK success in Summer 2008.Written for a jingle? You'd never guess. Actually that little three-note hook sounds more like the sting they play before an announcement through a public address system than anything else. I haven't exactly been looking forward to writing directly about my namesake, but the time has come. This track, of course, predates the domestic violence incident that made him notorious but he was already a very arrogant man. And whilst it would be tempting to refuse to write about this song entirely because of his reprehensible off-stage behaviour that does feel like a bit of a cop-out. It's also tempting, if in dubious taste, to try and over-interpret the song, or make some joke about the lyric "look what I can do with my feet".
The dilemma is lessened by the fact that the record is so poor anyway. Brown obviously fancies himself as Michael Jackson and has often consciously cast himself as an heir to him. The thing is though that, love him or hate him, Jackson built up a catalogue of memorable and distinctive hit songs that made him unmistakable. Brown has aimed straight for the till, making the most generic music possible to follow whatever trends seem popular with his target demographic. It's one thing to become rich out of doing this, but he's amassed a famously loyal (and worryingly, mostly female) fanbase who don't take kindly to criticism of their idol. One can only assume that his lyrical agenda, which consists pretty much entirely of "look at me I'm great", has convinced them. It doesn't sway me, though, particularly not in what's supposed to be a love song. Even if I didn't hate him I'd still think this was rubbish.
On the positive side, it's quite a relief that I don't have the @chrisbrown Twitter account, even though I did have the name first in real life.
Also appearing on: Now 70, 78, 79 (with Benny Benassi), 81 (with Pitbull), 82, 83
Available on: Pure... R&B Party