Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Brandy is forging a comeback to the musical arena with her newest album, Two Eleven.
From the first bassline of the CD’s opener “Wildest Dreams”, the audience is trapped in a daze of familiar sounds reminiscent of archived songs, and that one note continues through the majority of the record. As an 18-year veteran, Brandy doesn’t stray too far from her harmonious roots, and although the falsetto impresario’s newest track list is better than her largely overlooked previous two albums, its impact is not big enough to garner any new fans.
The cool melodic sounds of the Bangladesh-produced commercial debut single “Put it Down”, featuring resident R&B bad boy Chris Brown, entices listeners to continue on the soulful journey as B-Rocka anticipated, but soon, it too quickly fades from memory.
However, all is not lost. There are a couple of stand-out songs on the album including “No Such Thing as to Late,” “So Sick,” and “Hardly Breathing.” Perhaps the best recording is the Frank Ocean-produced track “Scared of Beautiful,” which talks about a person’s ability to accept the reflection of what they see in the mirror. While Brandy is not specifically known for displaying her sensual side, she decided to tease people on the sex-infused Rico Love track “Paint this House”.
Brandy gives her fans a snippet of the music that didn’t make the full album on the extended version, and although “Can You Hear Me Now” should’ve made the original, “What You Need” eerily evokes the same beat as the Sean Garrett nursery-type rhyme “Let Me Go”.
Generally speaking, the album lacks substance and, coincidentally, falls short of attracting the attention of the people who grew up listening to her. Given her four-year break from the industry, Two Eleven is not the reflection of the progressive R&B EP so many hoped for. It is however, an artists’ last ditch effort of revisiting the 90s style that made her famous.
You can find Brandy’s Two Eleven at major and local retailers, as well as online. For tour dates, photos, videos and events visit www.4everbrandy.com.
Jecquea Howsie is a freelance music writer. She has interviewed numerous celebrities including, but not limited to, Academy Award winner Mo’Nique and Grammy winning singer Ne-Yo. Her work can be seen on various blog platforms and magazine publications.