Chris Brown has just released "Heartbreak on a Full Moon," a 45 track, 2 hour and 38 minute recording that includes him whining about bottle service. It's hard to imagine that even the most diehard fans want that much new Chris Brown. But there is a method behind his latest madness.
We first wrote about this problem 14 months ago. Back then, in an attempt to game the charts, artists that usually released 10-12 track albums were upping there game by 50% and more. Drake's then new "Views" album ran 83 minutes with 20 tracks, and James Blake's "Color Of Everything was 75 minutes and 17 tracks long.
This week Chris Brown took the track count wars to a whole new level, releasing "Heartbreak on a Full Moon," with 45 tracks clocking in at 2 hour and 38 minutes.
Why, Chris? Why????
Almost three year's ago, Billboard began counting 1500 streams or 10 paid downloads of a song as the equivalent of one album sold. So, when fans streams Brown's new release on Spotify or Apple Music, his 45 track release counts for 400% than the usual 10-11 song album.
Other artists are taking a similar approach, but with track counts that are half of Brown's. This year, Ty Dolla $ign’s "Beach House 3" had 20 tracks, Lil Yachty’s "Teenage Emotions" 21, Drake’s "More Life" 22, Lil B’s "Black Ken" 27, and Future released 36 songs across two albums in the same week.
The "Shit At A Wall" Approach
Brown and others releasing these super-sized albums are taking a risk.
"It’s also harder than ever to know exactly what will resonate with streaming’s diverse youth demographic, so Brown’s “shit at a wall” approach gives more opportunity for one track to catch on," writes the Guardian's Ben Beaumont-Thomas, "but it’s a dangerous gamble, given that it’s harder to find the gems amid such an intimidating mass."