Ranking the Best Chris Brown Albums

For a generation of music fans, Chris Brown is the greatest R&B artist of their lifetime.

Don’t laugh. It’s all about perspective.

Even the biggest R&B supporters would admit that the genre has struggled with inconsistency over the past decade. Like it or not, there’s only been one consistent hitmaker during that time.

Despite constant legal troubles, inconsistent releases and more negative press than Kanye 2018, my play Cousin Chris Brown has been the mainstream face of R&B that entire period. And with his new project Indigo allegedly on the way, it doesn’t look like that’s changing anytime soon.

I’ve been as critical of the guy as anyone, and he’s (allegedly) family! But I can’t discount the mountain of hits, impeccable showmanship and underrated vocal performances.

When he’s good, he’s good.

Let’s look back at the catalog of one of R&B’s most controversial stars, ranking Breezy’s LPs from bottom to top. As always, we’re sticking with solo studio albums, so no mixtapes, EPs or that collabo album with Tyga.

Chris literally grew up in the eyes of the public. See how his music evolved on his road to stardom.


8. Graffiti (2009)

Soul In Stereo rating: 1 star out of 5

Edd said: Was there ANY doubt which album would be bringing up the rear? “Disaster” isn’t a strong enough word to describe this one. The mish-mash of sounds – from bad EDM to lazy hip-hop – makes this LP suffer from sonic schizophrenia. Thematically, Cousin Chris dances between apologetically crawling back to estranged ex Rihanna and outright dismissing her, which I wouldn’t mind if there was something memorable here to effectively tie that story together. There’s not. Even the album cover looks like a free comic book they give out at the dentist. An absolute unredeemable mess.

Forgotten favorites: Everything here needs to be forgotten


7. Royalty (2015)

Soul In Stereo rating: 2 stars out of 5

Edd said: One common complaint you’ll see as you read this list is that Brown REALLY struggles to make cohesive albums. Royalty is a perfect example of that – it’s utterly directionless, just a jumbled collection of radio cuts that jump from one sound to the next. And what’s worse is that there’s hardly anything that stands out. Not good.

Forgotten favorites: “Zero”

heartbreak on a full moon

6. Heartbreak on a Full Moon (2017)

Soul In Stereo rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

Read our review here

Edd said: Remember that time I reviewed three-hour long album and almost died by the time I hit track 37? The most frustrating part about Breezy’s 45-track behemoth of a LP is that there’s a GREAT album buried here, featuring some of the most solid performances we’ve heard from him in a decade. The set’s sonic diversity is also a plus. But it all gets lost among an ocean of mediocre songs. As a complete package there’s just way way way way WAY WAYYYY too much to digest here. Less is more, playa.

Forgotten favorites: “Tempo,” “Sensei,” “Heartbreak on a Full Moon”


5. Fortune (2012)

Soul In Stereo rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Edd said: Fortune is probably the least-discussed Breezy album, and I understand why. It often comes off like a clone of his F.A.M.E. album – same vibe, but less hits. That doesn’t mean this is a bad album though. Overall, it’s a solid collection with a couple of memorable pop tracks but gets lost among the better-known releases.

Forgotten favorites: “Bassline,” “Don’t Judge Me,” “Biggest Fan”


4. X (2014)

Soul In Stereo rating: 3.5  stars out of 5

Read our review here

Edd said: Call this one X-cess – a pretty good album that wears out its welcome due to a bloated tracklist. Chris’ R&B Thug persona quickly wears thin but when he tucks away his bad-boy persona, X really starts to shine, thanks to several genuine, heartfelt cuts. X’s high-profile singles get a lot of love but it’s the album cuts that keep this one afloat.

Forgotten favorites: “Time for Love,” “Do Better,” “Autumn Leaves”


3. F.A.M.E. (2011)

Soul In Stereo rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Read our review here

Edd said: Of all of my Cousin Chris’ albums, F.A.M.E. always felt like his most defining release. It’s certainly not his best – not even close – but it most accurately displays his multifaced talents. From pseudo hip-hop to traditional R&B to spastic pop, all angles are showcased and, for the most part, delivers. It’s the sound that has defined his career. There are a few flaws in his game (mostly the album’s successful but derivative Top 40 fare) but F.A.M.E. still remains home to some of Brown’s best songs.

Forgotten favorites: “No BS,” “She Ain’t You,” “Should’ve Kissed You”


2. Exclusive (2007)

Soul In Stereo rating: 4 stars out of 5

Edd said: Some young artists struggle to grow artistically after their debut hit. Not this guy. Exclusive was exactly the direction Brown needed to go, showing great maturity in both content and vocal ability. It gets a little bloated and unfocused in spots (as usual for this guy) but he easily sidesteps the threat of the sophomore jinx.

Forgotten favorites: “Hold Up,” “Damage,” “Down”

chris brown

1. Chris Brown (2005)

Soul In Stereo rating: 4 stars out of 5

Edd said: Listening to this album in 2018 is like looking back at your baby pics. Such an innocent time. Cousin Chris’ debut sounds almost nothing like the superstar of today and in some ways that’s a good thing. By far his most solid and consistent release, Breezy’s debut is an effective mix of youthful R&B and energetic pop-leaning efforts. His career was still in its infancy – his vocals would get much stronger over time – but there was no doubt about it, a star was born.

Forgotten favorites: “Young Love,” “Winner,” “Say Goodbye”

What’s your favorite Breezy album? Tell us and yell at me for criticizing Heartbreak on a Full Moon in the comments.



  1. Great review! Winner is by far one of his best songs, so I agree with you that it’s a forgotten favorite. …Do you watch the show “Tales from the Bus Tour?” The episodes got me back into PFunk and Rick James! You should write album rankings for old R&B artists.

  2. Chris Brown is one of the best entertainer singer and dancer. And you can’t take that away from him. ❤🙏🙏

  3. Love this young. Such talent! May he continue to be Blessed.

  4. Chris Brown is a hard worker!! He’s very talented and he’s no different than any other young man that just want to have fun. The problem for Chris, these haters can’t stand him because he so smart and a intelligent young black man with money. I pray that he never let the haters/media get to him and get him down. Stay focus on his beautiful Daughter your life and watch out for wicked ladies and jealous men. Keep it pushin Chris Brown !! I’m your fan mom!!! BLESSINGS

  5. I can’t agree with this list. Even tho HBOAFM was long, it was a phenomenal album. I was able to listen to the whole thing without even thinking about skipping. Royalty wasn’t bad, not his greatest work though. Graffiti was by far his worst. Even so, I love all his music. His new album is decent,(Indigo). Again not his best work but has some good songs on there.

  6. I totally agree with your ranking! He has never been a consistent artist as far as albums go. I definitely agree that his debut and Exclusive are his best ones. His debut is definitely the most consistent out of the bunch!

  7. I like all of his albums and I think all of them are the best but my least favorite is graffiti bc I agree graffiti wasn’t really the best one of his other albums but however there are some songs that are good and would put them on repeat but yeah graffiti is the the only album that I hate.

  8. Bizarrely consistent “Deluxe” treatments screw up CBs artistic statements somewhat often. Still, all of the albums after Exclusive are uneven anyway.

    Despite this..Fortune is My favorite Chris Brown moment to date. Though Exclusive and X stand out imo as his best official studio packs thus far. Unreleased, unfinished, mixtape based, lp guest appears, featured singles, lone solo singles, full collaboration tapes–He’s the closest one to Prince in that he has so many gems littered literally all over his ambitious collection. I’d love him to bring out an anthology of deep cuts_this may not happen soon .. if period. Just wish he would actually sing more…he can provably deliver hit music but the vocal ability isn’t as enjoyable as it was or could be now. Love him to life though.

  9. Heartbreak on a Full Moon should’ve been number one

  10. Whilst I agree with most of these (Graffiti being the most obvious). I can’t help feeling like Royalty is massively underrated. All of it’s songs are very artistic in their own sense and I would say it’s one of his top 3 albums for sure!

  11. I would put Graffiti because it was a weird transitional period for Chris Brown and music at the time. The only single I liked in the album was I Can Transform Ya.

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