Long time readers will know that Brandy hardly gets a mention on this site and that’s not because we don’t like her or have anything against her but more the fact that she hasn’t done anything worth mentioning, until now. The 90’s saw major success for the young songstress with her self-titled debut album sold 6 million records worldwide. Fast-forward to recent times and Miss Norwood just hasn’t seemed to be able to catch a break. Fading into a distant but not forgotten memory leaving fans and R&B lovers like me just wishing that she could one day make a triumphant return.
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Speaking of said return, Brandy has been hard at work in the studio, for what seems like an eternity, making this album the best album it can be. It has been 4 long years since the release of her forgettable and somewhat disappointing LP Human. Having found a new home in the form of RCA Records she is ready to unleash the new her and reintroduce herself to the world, call it a comeback.
Vocals Vocals Vocals is what separates Brandy from her counterparts. She has a distinctive tone that is rich in huskiness and full of soul. Her ability to utilise her unique tone and natural affinity for producing great melodies and runs has always been a hit with me and with this album I feel no different.
What is markedly different is the confidence that she exudes throughout the record. She has really tapped into herself and become one with who she is and what she likes. No longer forcing the sexy like she did during her Afrodisiac era instead showcasing her new found sexy in a way that is believable. Songs such as ‘Slower’, ‘Paint This House’ and ‘Can You Hear Me Now’.
With any album you need those head bumping tunes which make you do that push your lips and frown face lol, you know the face I’m talking about. Those tunes come in the form of lead single ‘Put It Down’, ‘Let Me Go‘ and ‘What You Need’. ‘Let Me Go’ is a schizophrenic kind of beat that sounds all over the place in terms of a fixed sound but it still is able to sound good on the ears. Allowing Brandy to let her man know that he is not to stop *raised eyebrow*.
Few tacks had me questioning its very existence however it was inevitable that I would stumble on a couple. The irrelevant and forgettable ‘Music’ falls into this category oh so easily. ‘Wish Your Love Away’ and ‘Can You Hear Me Now’ are harder to scrutinise because they had the potential to be good but somehow fell short.
Moving away from its musical mishaps and placing the focus on the albums shinning light. ‘No Such Thing As Too Late’ is one of if not my favourite. At the very beginning it give me Janet Jackson ‘Let’s Wait A While’ tease but as soon as the beat starts to knock and Rico Love chants his familiar turn the lights on catchphrase I suddenly get a strong sense of Kelly Rowland. Being that Rico Love is a frequent collaborator of Ms. Kelly it’s understandable why I draw the comparisons. Although Kelly Rowland was the reference Bandy is certainly not lost and delivers vocals that make me want to hug myself.
I’ve left discussing ‘Scared Of Beautiful’ until last for good reason. Frank Ocean is kind of a musical God right now. He has received critical acclaim and has many a music buff quivering over his fresh take on R&B and music in general. Brandy revealed that she had worked with Ocean on this album; ‘Scared Of Beautiful’ is the fruit of that labor. Although a song that Ocean had already penned, recorded and introduced to the world (even if not intended) Brandy takes the song to a new level. I feel this song definitely suits a female vocal. The most meaningful offering on the record and stands out as one of the best tracks for good reason. Simply stunning!
We all have our opinions, you have just read mine now what I need you to do is go out and get you a copy of Two Eleven listen to it and form your own opinion. Don’t hesitate to let me know what you think of it and even curse me out for not championing a song that you may like more than I did. Enjoy the album folks.