Discography Check: Bobby Brown

By @TrueGodImmortal

With the recent BET film The Bobby Brown Story taking over your timelines and most televisions, we figured it was a perfect time to take a look at the short but sweet solo catalog of one of the original members of one of the greatest groups ever New Edition. This list wouldn't include the remix albums or greatest hits list for obvious reasons, and we covered the New Edition group discography already, so this will strictly be the small Bobby Brown catalog. How do his 5 albums sound years later? Let's take a look.

*King Of Stage (1986)

-His first solo is interesting for the time. It wasn't a big hit album, but did spawn a popular hit in "Girlfriend", but the rest of the album falls slightly flat, minus a select few songs. I think the issue is that Bobby was something other than what this album portrayed him as, and he needed an album to reflect who he really was. He had grown into a real life bad boy of sorts who was struggling with his own demons and this album gives off the vibe of a more happy go lucky artist and smooth artist that Bobby wasn't at all. The production here is solid for the era however, it just feels like the songs were a bit too New Edition esque and Bobby Brown should have his own identity. Still, I couldn't deny "Girlfriend", "Baby, I Wanna Tell You Something", "You Ain't Been Loved Right", and "Spending Time". King Of Stage was a decent starting point solo, but Bobby definitely had more in store.

*Don't Be Cruel (1988)

-The classic. The fourth greatest album of the 80's in my opinion behind Thriller, Purple Rain, and Rapture. That's a high level to have any album at, but I stand behind this. Don't Be Cruel is one of the single greatest albums to ever exist and while Bobby was on top of the world when this came out, no one could have guessed the success this album was about to be just two years after King Of Stage. Working with Babyface and Teddy Riley, Bobby delivers anthems like the timeless "Roni", "Rock Wit'cha", the title track, "Every Little Step", "My Prerogative", and so many more. We have discussed this album countless times, so no need to go into more detail about this classic album. Don't Be Cruel is the best Bobby album by far and one of the greatest albums of all time.

*Bobby (1992)

-The third album from Bobby and his second biggest project is honestly a great album, despite being a slightly troubled project. Bobby was at his peak somewhat, but also struggling with a number of different things when this album released, so this is an album that I feel deserved a little more love, but it was still a successful and controversial project. Working with legends like Babyface and Teddy Riley again, Bobby made an album that felt like the perfect follow up to Don't Be Cruel, minus the questionable cover. Regardless, Bobby delivers on this album with the hit single "Humpin' Around" being one of the biggest songs, along with some of the solid Teddy Riley produced gems like "Two Can Play That Game" and "Get Away", and more Babyface classics like the slept on "Good Enough", and of course the classic collab with Whitney Houston, "Something In Common". Bobby wasn't a classic like Don't Be Cruel, but for a follow up to a mega hit album like that, it was a good listen and a triple platinum success in that regard.

*Forever (1997)

-This is a very underrated album and it is actually a solid album for the time and era it came out. Bobby was never the best singer or vocalist, so you don't go into this album expecting great vocals or mind blowing music, but he does deliver some solid R&B throughout this project. However, one could imagine that this album would be more concise and better if Bobby had finished it the way he intended. Forever was originally titled Bobby II and scheduled to feature input from Teddy Riley, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and Puffy, but they withdrew likely due to the issues that Bobby was going through at the time. Regardless, this is actually a solid album that starts off with Whitney on the intro and continues with no other appearances or big names attached. The highlights here are "My Place", "Feelin' Inside", and "Forever", but the reality is, if this album was given the support it needed and Bobby's demons didn't become such a problem, maybe this album would be remembered a little more fondly. Forever isn't a bad album at all, it just needed a more focused Bobby to promote it, but sound wise and song wise, it is some really good work.

*The Masterpiece (2012)

-While many people let this album go ignored, I remember reading that it had released shortly after my daughter was born. The album had been out for months by that point, but I remember being slightly excited for the album. I thought that Bobby could make a minor comeback, as so many artists had done the same, but the reality was, Bobby was going through way too much when this album was conceived and finished. After so many losses back to back, this album has a strange feel to it, but Bobby starts off with a painful track "Don't Let Me Die", but the rest of the album struggles a bit to find its way. The production is extremely hard to appreciate, and most of the songs fall short of any expectations, but if I can pick a few highlights, I would say "Damaged", "Can't Give Up", "Exit Wounds", and "All Is Fair" with Johnny Gill are the most enjoyable songs on this uneven album. Bobby still had something to say musically and after losing almost everything, The Masterpiece at least represents his fighting spirit to continue going in the darkest hour, which is the most important thing about Bobby Brown period.



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