Sunday, October 14, 2012
Brandy Two Eleven Review (Comeback Of The Year)
Evolved! It's shameful how the word gets tossed around for so many artists that do not display any musical growth from the time they've stepped onto the scene until the current phases of their careers; but, words like epic and icon are used too carelessly as well. Brandy Norwood is all 3! Undoubtedly! Her first 3 albums are masterpieces and 'Two Eleven' just notched another classic album under her belt (no disrespect to the creative genius that is 'Afrodisiac' or 'Human'). Labels like these are really hard to come by, but Brandy makes it look easy. With her well-nourished talent each album increasingly adds new found artistic growth that is put to new challenges in ways the average vocalists would never dream of.
'Put It Down' , 'Let Me Go', 'Slower', 'So Sick' and 'What You Need' (Deluxe) -
Welcome to the new Brandy that gets her point across much faster. These are exciting tracks that feel experimental, edgy and carries a confidence that's never been felt in Brandy before. It's a total head rush hearing her on these swagged-out songs that really sell her innovation. These songs are unpredictable and that's what makes listening to music like this for the first time fun. The comeback diddly - Put It Down - was a hit, whether you want to admit it or not, this track was just the fire Brandy needed. A lot of times the public always demand from singers like Brandy these hymns like: 'I Go To The Rock', when we all know what we want is that 'Put It Down (so I can break it down for ya')' kind of track to ignite a flame. It was the perfect way to kick things off. If you like music that doesn't feel safe, you get plenty of what you need on the explosive Let Me Go, silky Slower, brutally honest So Sick and the pure heat on What You Need. These are definitely some of the biggest standouts and highlights on the 'Two Eleven' experience.
Put It Down (A-)
Let Me Go (B-)
So Sick (B+)
What You Need (A-)
Do You Know What You Have steals the show, it simply melts in your ears like M&Ms. Certainly long-time Brandy fans have been waiting for the "mature Brandy" to give us a vocal eargasm on a song like this one. It's her most sensual to date, and Brandy's hauntingly mesmerizing, luscious vocals are effective and pronounced on this track. Hands down the winner of the album.
Do You Know What You Have (A)
Wish Your Love Away, Hardly Breathing and Scared of Beautiful score points for adding the substance and meaning on the album that people adore Brandy for. On 'Wish' Brandy passionately expresses the other side of love that goes wrong. It's a poignant message sent from a woman scorned. The hook grabs you and the tinge of sadness speaks to you in a way that makes it easy to connect with every lyric. 'Scared of Beautiful' sends a powerful message of celebrating your greatest self. The song is as equally beautiful as Brandy's delivery, which at times feels so intimate, like a whisper in your ear, then as vibrant as an echo that's sonically hypnotizing. On Hardly Breathing, Bran's tone is everything! This offering feels so honest and revealing, it sheds all pretense and leaves a naked and raw emotion there to shine.
Wish Your Love Away (B)
Hardly Breathing (A)
Scared Of Beautiful (A)
Wildest Dreams adds to the nostalgia of what Brandy fans adore from this artist in her younger years. She serves up a sweet reminder on this one, conjuring up the dreaminess of what she's given us in the past. It's the only track that kind of delves back into those days and actually is another testament to the versatility Brandy has.
Wildest Dreams (B+)
The reception to some of these last few songs were pretty positive, but unfortunately this is where opinions may differ. Songs like 'Too Late' are poetic, but in actuality these kind of predictable songs doesn't seem to capitalize off Brandy's unique musicality. Though she sounds angelic, it pales in comparison to everything else on the album that's way riskier or just simply more interesting. 'Without You' actually works in the beginning, but the only problem this song has is that after the first two-and-a-half minutes it gets a bit monotonousness. Brandy sounds great as usual though. It's just something about the song that was begging for a detour. 'Paint This House' gives us a slice of Brandy's captivating and sensual side, yet the track goes in and out of a dreariness - but stays on track for the most part (the bridge is ethereal). 'Music' is a laid back joy! It sounds like Brandy sung something Maxwell wrote. Finally, 'Can You Hear Me Now' has that hook that Brandy sounds so amazing on. It's guaranteed to stay stuck in your head. Don't believe me - listen and try getting it out! Solid job done!
Too Late (C+)
Without You (C)
Paint This House (B-)
Can You Hear Me Now (B-)
Overall Rating: A- This album is intriguing from nearly start to finish. It has heart and you feel the creative energy. Welcome Back Brandy, you should be very proud of this project!