RIP Brandy 15/10/2012
Oh Brandy, Brandy, BRANDY! Once considered the hottest voice and up-coming talent in the late 90's. Her amazing partnership with Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins saw Miss Brandy Norwood score the hits and create some truly inspiring music that has stood the test of time and is still great today.
Even her experimenting phase when she teamed up with Timbaland to record the most personal (and my personal favourite) Afrodisiac and then back to Darkchild for the soul scorching "Human" and now believing that Darkchild never delivered hits for her (blasphemy!!!) Brandy has a whole new team of producers who have shown that she is irrelevant, instead of trying to blast Brandy in 2012, they have attempted to replicate Monica's formula of keeping it old school, the difference is Brandy cannot pull this off.
What results is an album that can be summed up in one simple word Cluster-fuck. Enlisting Sean Garrett, Bangladesh and Rico Love (frankly all of whom should know better!) Ever since I heard the horrible first single "Put It Down" featuring Chris Brown, I immediately grew concerned of where this album was headed.
This is Brandy's first album with new label RCA, and with the exclusion of Timbaland and Darkchild as producers the album falls into forgettable territory and the title of the third song "So Sick" describes how I feel about this album and Brandy's "career" if it can ever resuscitate itself from this mess.
The album starts with an Intro (aptly named) that has no vocals, no talking, just a beat...completely and utterly useless, followed by the second single "Wildest Dreams" this mid-tempo rnb ballad produced by Garrett is a horrible single choice and even more a bore of a song. Dear Brandy - never in my wildest dreams did I think you would make a song as shit as this!
I have already talked about "So Sick" and the nausea continues with Slower, a slight improvement produced by Switch who picks up the pace a bit, while the song is still stuck in 2001, it is a great old school throwback.
No Such Thing As Too Late introduces the Rico Love side of the album and puts everyone to sleep. Brandy's vocals sound stifled and weakened. As the next track Let Me Go started and I heard Bangladesh's call out my ears immediately pricked up with interest, and finally a song that delivers some resemblance of relevance. The rnb/dubstep track is still not great but compared to the rest of the snoozers on this album, it sounds good by comparison only.
Without You moves things back to ballad territory, and usually Brandy is one artist who can pull off a ballad and keep it interesting and relevant. Whatever magic she has had with producers in the past she has seemed to lost now. The lead single Put It Down is up next featuring controversial artist Chris Brown, the lead single only reached #70 on the Billboard Top 100 charts, which frankly is an embarrassment to RCA and should have been an indication of how this album was going to be received.
Hardly Breathing may just be an indication for the coma that listeners may be medically induced into after getting this far into this mess of an album. Another forgettable ballad le sigh. Do You Know What You Have? sounds like a Mariah Carey Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel b-side and is as uninspiring and uninteresting as the rest. Scared Of Beautiful actually sounds like Brandy but only just, Wish Your Love Away and Paint This House finish off the album, that's right you guessed it, they are both ballads, and they are both just boring as watching paint dry. Oh and there is also an outro, exactly the same as the intro, same music, no lyrics, no talking...why why WHY???
I really wish I had something good to say about this album, but I can't...it is just a massive disappointment from producers and an artist who should know better. Two Eleven is meant as a dedication to Whitney Houston and also Brandy's birthday, I don't know how Whitney would feel about this, she would probably spark up some crystal meth and listen to Full Moon or Afrodesiac to wipe out the memory of this mess.
Two Eleven is in stores and on I-Tunes now.