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Chris Brown

The fleet-footed teen idol's latest

Chris Brown has been well known to the screaming underage masses for a minute now, but he broke out to a wider audience at this year's MTV Video Music Awards. There, he perfectly parroted the Gloved One's Moonwalk dance, prompting Justin Timberlake to tell the world he felt old. This indicated the torch has officially been passed, and Brown is a more than able standard-bearer for teen-pop sensation of the moment, a distinction with a long and glorious history (Elvis, Michael Jackson, Usher, etc.). The first singles off Brown's just-released second album — Exclusive, "Wall to Wall" and especially "Kiss Kiss" — are fire, and the requisite power ballad, "With You" — underscored with a deliciously unexpected acoustic guitar riff — is sure to inspire heavy petting after junior-high dances across the country. Sure, the tracks are generally overproduced, and disingenuously alternate between glorifying playing the field and extolling commitment, but what were you expecting? Next you're going to complain about the deluge of guest appearances, ranging from Lil Wayne (obligatory) to will.i.am (vomitaceous) to Kanye West (ill-conceived) to T-Pain (Lik-M-Aid tasty). But Brown, now 19, is good-looking, has good moves and even cowrote many of Exclusive's tunes. Signed, sealed, delivered, he's yours.

 
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