on June 6, 2006
Brandy aka B-Rocka is one of the best female aritist around. She has always been my favorite R&B artist since her self-Titled debut album "Brandy" dropped in 1994. Nearly a decade later, her voice, her sound, her swagger has only improved. Her voice is like a treasure, once you've discover it, you'll never want to forget it. All of her albums (1994's Brandy, 1998's Never say Never, 2002's Full Moon & 2004's Afrodisac) are certified classics in my book, expecially Afrodisiac. Every song on the album is soulful, some great dance tracks and some really relaxing R&B slow cuts. Brandy does not get the credit she deserves, which is why Afrodisiac didn't get alot of radio play and/or press. This album should be 2x Platinum if it's not already.
My Favorite Tracks:
1. Who Is She 2 U?
2. How I Feel
5. Where I Wanna Be ft. T.I.
6. Come As You Are
7. Turn It Up
8. Talk About Our Love ft. Kanye West
on October 6, 2006
After listening to "Afrodisiac", singer/actor Brandy's 4th studio effort, I can't help feeling sorry for her. This is one of many stellar R&B CDs that commercially make it nowhere due to lack of promotion or just flat-out neglect on most of the public's part. "Afrodisiac" is more than just an artistic statement - it is the sound of a maturer, stronger, vocally more powerful and emotional Brandy taking risks with her music while still remaining real with it. Once again, reigning super-producer Timbaland is the main person to thank for delivering with the production on 9 of the album's 15 tracks. Other producers include Kanye West, Organized Noise & others. Sean Garrett's pensive genius also blesses this record with spectacular results.
While Brandy may have only lent her actual helping hand to one of the album's 15 tracks in terms of songwriting, Brandy not only sings the material with a lived-in feel, but the material itself was obviously related to her in the 1st place. "Who I Am" is an emotional ballad where Brandy finds strength after a bad relationship with lyrics equally compelling as her actual voice. Album track favourite "I Tried" is a heavy-hearted ballad where heavy synthesizers, faint guitar strings & closing violins emphasize Brandy's emotional struggle with an unfaithful lover whose misdeeds she tries to neglect, but in the end, refuses to put up with (in other words, she eventually leaves). "Finally" is a ballad that, while lighter with the production, is equally passionate and emotional with the same purpose of making the right decisions & leaving a bad relationship. "Come As You Are" uses more revealing lyrics, Brandy's vulnerable vocals, Timbaland's bouncy production and breathy background vocals to create a song about her rough transition into womanhood, and how she searches for a man who's equally mature.
Considering how deep every track on this album is, highlights come down more to one's opinion on each track's quality. In this case, many of those highlights go to the actual singles. Lead single "Talk About Our Love" is a beautiful, slightly up-tempo ballad with a lush groove, courtesy of guest artist Kanye West. The song itself talks about not worrying about the gossip and rumours other people say about them, and to just keep on showing love to each other, despite everyone else's perceptions of it. Second single "Who Is She 2 U" is another slightly up-tempo ballad where Brandy begins to frustratingly question her man's intentions with another woman who caught his eye. Piano keys, flutes, violins strings, ethereal choir background vocals and catchy drum patterns provide a perfect sonic backdrop for Brandy's sultry vocals & the expectedly impressive lyrics. Timbaland's killer minimalist beat on the title track (which samples from Aaliyah's "Are You That Somebody") is equally infectious, while Brandy professes her drug-like love for another man with breathy sexuality. Other non-single highlights include the emotionally furious club banger "Saddity" and "Should I Go", a stellar ballad where Brandy contemplates all kinds of things -whether or not to leave the industry for her family, remembering the days when it just her, Monica & Aaliyah, etc.- with pensive lyrics & airy vocals over a well-chosen sample of Coldplay's song "Clocks".
Altogether, "Afrodisiac" is a wonderful studio effort that deserved more attention and success than it received. To this date, "Afrodisiac" remains the best album of her career, and is a testament to both her artistry and longevity in an endlessly fickle music industry. 5 stars!
5 Best Tracks:
"Talk About Our Love (feat. Kanye West)"
"Who Is She 2 U"
"Should I Go"
on October 7, 2004
I would just like to begin by saying that I have been a Brandy fan for over a decade. Since her debut, I have always loved her. I love everything about her. Her voice, her presence, sense of style and aura. ...I grew up listening to her music and she has been a role model for me over the years. Okay enough of the sentimental stuff. On to her music. One of the things that amazes me about this multi-talented R&B star is not only her amazing voice but also her versatility and creativity. I can honestly say that this girl NEVER disappoints me. Just when you think she has reached her musical apex, she releases another album that surpasses the previous one. "Afrodisiac" in it's whole is ingenious!!! Powerful vocal delivery, passionate and moving lyrics, edgy and creative collaborations makes for Brandy's most accomplished set yet. Initially, when I heard that Brandy was working on a new album I never expected her to release an album this good, don't get me wrong I knew she could sing and was talented but she even exceeded my expectations having already been a die-hard fan!! Full Moon blew me away and I thought the girl couldn't possibly release material better than that!!! The album's first release "Talk About Our Love" produced by the talented Kanye West is brilliant. A mid-tempo, catchy R&B track with a 70's flava that was undoubtedly the best song of the summer. How could such a good song be so under-rated!!!??? People just don't have good taste in music anymore because that song should have been at the top of the billboard charts for several weeks. Anyway, the second release was the powerful and soulful "Who Is She To You?" produced by none other than the KING Mr. Tim Mosley aka Timbaland. A cool, and catchy R&B joint where Brandy questions her lover of a mistress. Her vocals are nothing short of spectacular in this song. Strangely, this song mysteriously disappeared off the charts!! I mean what gives??? Are people judging Brandy because of the mistakes she has made in the past??? What celebrity hasn't lied????? Or made mistakes?? It's called being a human and being imperfect. People are just ignorant and need to learn to let that petty stuff go. Anyway back to the album...The other day my friend asked me. What is your favorite track on the album????? I didn't know how to respond because I love them all. Literally.... But my ABSOLUTE favorites are in this order
1. I Tried 10/10...samples a song from Iron Maiden with lyrics from the Coldplay song "Sparks". A melancholy, sad track that is really special to me. I was near tears the first time I heard this song because I can RELATE to it. I've been in a similar situation so it's only natural that I would treasure this masterpiece. You can hear the struggle and pain in her voice. Definitely Grammy material and should have been the 2nd single..IMO
2.Finally 10/10- This song is also very special to me. "Finally I Walked Away, Never Would've Seen This Day" This amazing track is produced by Timbaland and co-written by Brandy. He samples music from the composer Hans Zimmerman and the result is yet another masterpiece that has a very inspirational message within it. Again the talented Ms Norwood sounds simply beautiful and changes up her tone. You can tell she's singing this one from the heart. and in some parts of the song it sounds like she wants to cry..not from hurt or pain..but because she's happy that she was brave enough to walk away from a relationship that was not healthy for her. Again, I can relate because I've been hurt before and found it difficult to let go of someone..but once I Finally walked away I was happy and realized that it was the best decision for me. Also Grammy material.
3. Where You Wanna Be Ft T.I 8/10- I love this song.. I listen to it CONSTANTLY. Produced by the guru Kanye West. Her vocals are just..man...Incredible on this track!!!!!She sings of the turmoil in her heart from her man not knowing where he wants to be. It's strange she changes her tone on this track she sings really low in the beginning and then she raised the roof at the end. She plays with the song somehow...she OWNS the song. The tonality of her vocals and her ad-libs on this track all paint a picture of the scenario she sings about. Again where Brandy shines is the EMOTION she puts behind each song..she delved into her struggles in the past and re-created each moment. I'm sure that it was difficult for her to do that, but in the final analysis I think it helped her...It was therapy for her. When she sings this song it is as if you are right there with her. You hear the frustration; you hear the pain, and her desire to be in love. The sexy T.I. lends his talent to this song and it adds flavor to the feel of this amazing track...I Love IT!!!
4. Should I Go- "Why didn't he rate this song"? You may ask..simply because I can't rate this song as a 10 rating would be an insult to this spectacular track. Brandy and Tim collaborate and the result is one of the most touching, beautiful, and moving ballads I have ever heard. ...Period. Timbaland samples music from the Coldplay song "Clocks" and in the lyrics Brandy contemplates whether or not she should leave the fake and superficial music industry. Brandy sounds particularly beautiful on this track. It sounds like she is crying throughout the song...but her voice remains steady and controlled. I also love her references to the late Aaliyah(Who I also happen to be a fan of.) Brandy please stay in the industry, but if you wanted to leave I wouldn't blame you.
Well that pretty much sums up my favorite tracks on the album..but the thing is I still LOVE all the other ones(With the exception of Saddidy..everything is wrong with that song) Other Nice Tracks: Focus7/10-I Love It, Afrodisiac-7/10 My Jam, Say U Will-8/10 So Beautiful How I Feel- 8/10 Classic!
All in All, Brandy has released an album that I will listen to for years to come. She has really upped her game and I am so happy that I bought this album. It's all I listen to really..when I go to work, on my way home from work and on the weekends too. You owe it to yourself to get "Afrodisiac" NOW!!! If you are stubborn and don't want to buy it..then it's your loss I could care less I have the album already..I'm trying to help you music lovers to find good music that was the purpose of me taking the time out to write this review, for you all. I mean I could be doing something else for Christ's sake.!!!!Before I go, I just wanted to clear up something. Contrary to what the average retard may choose to believe, Alicia Keys and Beyonce are NOT better than Brandy. They all are in different lanes and bring different gifts to the industry. Additionally, they all have different strengths and weaknesses. Alicia is more classical /old-school R&B, Beyonce's forte is more Pop music, whilst Brandy is strictly R&B and what I like to call "New Age" R&B with a hint of Pop. If Alicia or Beyonce were to dare venture into Brandy's realm.. she would stomp all over them because she is the best and what she does.
Brandy is just as talented as those girls if not MORE talented in some areas. A lot of people think Brandy is under-rated..um I don't. Brandy is a Legend. She's the Queen, she always has been and she always will be. She's my Queen in my world, and in my world my opinion is all that matters.... Have A Nice Day!!!
on July 10, 2006
If you are looking for a solid R&B effort, check out Brandy's latest album. This album is a solid listen from beginning to end. Granted, some of her old fans may not like the new "raspy" sound she uses, but it adds more grit to the hard-hitting Timbaland productions and gives her more edge. She sounds more mature. With the laid-back songs full of soul-hitting lyrics and bass-thumping beats, you can't pass this up
on September 1, 2005
I've had this album for a year now and STILL put it on constant replay whether I'm happy or sad because this album is all about moods and emotions and inspiration. Plan and simple the album is fantastic and really, REALLY, shows artistic ability. I've been a Brandy fan since forever and all her songs seem to get me through situations filled with inspiration, but Afrodisic... I mean WHOO... this album is crazy. The reason I believe I like this one soooooooo much and that it's sooooo special is because I personally can RELATE to so much of the material here. Brandy is figuratively singing about what me and many other people go through in relationships, friendships, and life in general. She hits it on the NAIL in songs like "Focus" and "How I Feel" and other tracks like "Finally." Y'all, the girl did it... seriously. And her vocals just soothes you in so carelessly. When I picture this CD for some reason I picture it as a rock, it's tough and hard, filled with substance. I really can't compare her CD to other female artist like... Ashanti. Ashanti's cool and all but lyrically she's a flop and she doesn't draw me in to help me figure out my problems, through song like Brandy. I mean, I like other artist, they're good but it's really rare that someone comes along with a CD that captives issues we go through. Too me, Brandy really did it this time. People just have the listen. I mean, how many times can you hear a song about how much you love somebody, or how tired you are of this and that relationship. I swear, Brandy's album goes into the scoop of that. She tells why it hurts, how to overcome it, and how to be strong and better yourself. It's literally therepy. I just wish she got more promotion for it and I pray that she don't decide to give this thing up (rumor has it she's working on another album now). With all that said and done I'd follow Brandy anywhere.
on February 15, 2005
Alright people! Yeah, its obvious everybody has his or her own opinion about what cd is hot and and what isnt. However, I have to set the record straight about "Afrodisiac"--Brandy's latest effort. Not only was this album outrageously overlooked, but it is in my opinion the best album recorded by Brandy since her last Gem "Never Say Never." Afrodisiac basically exemplifies Brandy's independence, growth, and maturity as a woman. "The opening track Who I am" is a thumping r&b track in which Brandy speaks of her divorce, and how that relationship has help her become a much more self-assured and stronger person. Songs like "Sadiddy"...."Focus"....."Talk About Our Love"....and "Who's she to U", are some of the main highlights on this cd. However, The most genuine and sweetest track on this record is the melody-driven heart on your sleeves pounding track "Necessary." This song is by far the most honest and sweetest song Ive ever heard by Brandy. Its starts off with a simple guitar chord of some sort, and brings you into great lyrics and the most memorable hook on the record period! Its the best track on the cd excluding Talk about Our love which might hold a torch up next to it! Its a shame this cd wasnt as big as it should have been. Its one of the best cds of 2004..One of the BEST, and for some reason, it either didnt get enough or the right promotion...or enough radio airplay. This cd you can practically listen to all the way through without skipping a single track. Some other great tracks are "I tried"...."Should I go"...which samples Coldplay's "Clocks" and "Say you Will." Brandy this cd was HOTT!...keep at it! You should have earned a grammy for it. But thats cool. It was definitely your best work to date...but thats to date. Check your managing crew...and your promoters..grab Tim for ROUND TWO and show all these amateurs how it's really done. So dust yourself off, ignore the paparazzi and the critics, and just do Brandy! Thats all you gotta do! Cause we all love us some straight up Brandy classics and some original Brandy style. I want to encourage all of you guys to buy this record..its a great record..and you wont be disappointed. Brandy's vocals are great, and her confidence level is something that doesnt go unnoticed. Love You Brandy! Right now only you, Monica, and Beyonce are Really holding it down as far as the R&B females go. You guys have true talent and are star performers the rest that are coming up just dont have that "IT" potion. You guys have it. So keep doing your thing, casue there's only one B-rocka!
on August 2, 2004
'Afrodisiac' is an album that by all means surpassed my expectations. i honestly wasn't expecting Brandy to release an album that sounded this good. Her vocals are rich and smooth. this album really displays her vocals. Most of the album is produced by Timbaland with a minor few produced by other producers, including Kanye West who lended his talent on 2 of the tracks on this album, including the superb lead single 'Talk About Out Love'. Surprisingly, on the first listen, most of these songs really jumped out. Some of the outstanding tracks on this album include: 'Afrodisiac', a very catchy and sexy R&B track, 'I Tried', an aggressive R&B track laced with sorrowful strings, 'Where You wanna Be', a smooth and exotic sounding R&B song with melancholy piano and strings found throughout (The 2nd of the 2 tracks produced by Kanye West), 'Say You Will', an enchanting R&B ballad, 'Finally', an optimistic and powerful track that has a 'joan of Arc' feel to it, 'Come As You Are' a smooth R&B song with a very serpent-ish beat, 'Should I Go', an entrancing song that has the beautiful piano riff from 'clocks' by coldplay repeated throughout the song which was quite a pleasant surprise. Brandy sounds particularly beautiful on the slower tracks (Where You Wanna Be, Focus, Should I Go, Say You Will) where her smooth vocals really shine. The album is near perfect, but the small but obvious flaws include: an annoying electric guitar riff that nearly spoiled the heartwarming 'Necessary' and a lack of melody in 'Sadiddy' which thankfully was only dominant in the beginning of the song. I was never a big fan of brandy, so it was a surprise to myself that i liked nearly this album alot on the first listen. usually i need at least 2 or 3 listens to really appreciate an album. While this album is amazing, it's not flawless...i decided this album is more like a 4.5 star album but since i can't give that score, the album falls closer to the 5 star rating than the 4 star. Brandy has released an album that is truly superb and one that i can proudly say i own.
on July 12, 2004
When I decided to listen to her album I didn't have any preconceived notions about her, I didn't have any "haterism"...in me and I didn't try or expected to find linkages between her and Aaliyah, Alicia Keys or Beyonce. I knew brandy since she came out a decade ago and I cleared my mind and just listened to the music and the music itself and I must say...this is the best album she has ever put out. I own all of brandy's albums and this is the best. All the songs are remarkably well written, the beats are really good they weren't forced and the producers didn't try to do too much with the beats. I guess the reason for this being to let brandy's voice own about 50% of the whole record. The vocals she puts down are spectacular...and the fact that she produced those vocals and vocal arrangement is proof that she has "talent". This CD has alot of good songs if not all the songs are really good. In order for you to appreciate this work you will have to let the CD grow on you!...When I initially listened to this album only a few songs stood out like "Afrodisiac"..."Who is she 2 U"..."I tried"..."Focus" and one of my faves "Sadiddy". But once you listen to the album over a period of time you'll find hidden treasures like "Say You Will"(which is one of the best songs on the album, great for baby making or a wedding) and "Necessary"..."Finally" and "Should I go". This is a beautiful album by a beautiful artist. Sadly there's to much going on for it to be noticed and recognized for what its worth. I hope this album doesn't go unnoticed for 2004 and if it does it will be one of the biggest albums that never made it of 04. Brandy is under-rated and she deserves to be acknowledged for giving us quality for so long.
on July 13, 2004
OF COURSE ME AND MY OTHER BRANDY FANATIC MARK WAS PROMOTING HER ALBUM N THE MALL!!LOL... AND WOKE UP THAT MORNING TO GO AND BUY THE CD.. HE BOUGHT LIKE 3.....LOL...
I COULD TYPE ALL DAY ABOUT THIS CD... BRANDY 10 YEARS STRONG N THE BUSINESS AND STILL DOIN WELL.. EVEN THOUGH I THOUGHT THAT FULL MOON WAS THE BEST EVER.. SHE COMES BACK STRONG AND THE CD IS LIKE A BREATH OF FRESH AIR. SHES ALSO GIVING LOVE TO MONICA AND AALIYAH ON HER CD..I LOVE THE WHOLE CD.. EVERY LAST SONG.. ALSO THE BONUS TRACKS THAT ARENT ON THE CD.. SIRENS..NODDING OFF..AND LIKE IT WAS YESTERDAY..BUT MY FAV ONES IS
WHO IS SHE 2 U
WHERE U WANNA BE FEATURING TI!!!
SAY YOU WILL
TURN IT UP
FINALLY I WALKED AWAY
AND THE TIGHEST SONG OF ALL
SHOULD I GO.... EVEN AFTER SWITCHING PRODUCERS... TIMBALAND DOES A GOOD JOB.. SO DEFINATELY HAVE 2 GIVE HIM PROPS... ITS A VERY CHILL .. PACESETTER CD.. WHICH IM SURE EVERYBODY LOVES... & BRANDY IS SO HUMBLE ABOUT HER MUSIC AND HER CAREER.. THATS WHAT I LOVE ABOUT HER... SHE COMES BACK AFTER 3 YEARS EVEN AFTER SHES BEEN OUT FOR 7 YEARS..AND TRIES TO FIGURE OUT WHERE SHES FITS N TODAYS MUSIC.. SHE HAS THE MIND SET 4 BEING AN ARTIST.. SHE HAS SO MUCH ENERGY & HER DANCING IS SO CUTE!!! AND ENJOYING HER LIFE WITH HER LITTLE GIRL S'YRAI AND BOYFRIEND QUENTIN RICHARDSON.. SHE COULDNT BE ANY HAPPIER.. TRUST ME GOIN TO BUY THE CD WILL NOT B A MISTAKE.. WERE TALKIN ABOUT A MULTI TALENTED GIRL WHO JUST HAS A PASSION 4 MUSIC.. WERE TALKIN ABOUT BRANDY HERE!!!!!!! ALL OF HER CDS:: HAVE BEEN EXCELLENT ..AFRODISAC IN STORES NOW. GO B-ROCKA!!!!!!!!!! YOUR FAN ALWAYS... MATTHEW C... REPPIN WASHINGTON D.C!!!!
I have never liked Brandy. I don't think she's a good actress. I don't even think her voice is that great. But most of all, I never thought she had anything to say. Saying "I Wanna Be Down," "Baby baby you're so fine" and shrill insistance that "The Boy Is Mine" didn't impress. Okay, okay, "The Boy Is Mine" was a cool song, I admit it. But it didn't make me believe in Brandy.
Now all of that has changed. This album is AMAZING. I subsribe to "Entertainment Weekly" and they called it one of the best albums of the year. I was floored by it even being mentioned alongside phenomenal albums like "American Idiot." So floored that one boring day, I went ahead and downloaded it legally off of Napster . . .
The rest is history. I listen to this album almost daily. I can't get the songs out of my head. I can't BELIEVE that this is Brandy -- that annoying chick from "Moesha". That goody-two-shoes who dared label herself "America's Sweetheart". Well, she's no longer eligible for that position now, but she doesn't seem to care.
(Please note that these track listings refer to the downloaded version of the album, which is apparently different from the one Amazon's selling. I'm not promoting it, so chill out Amazon guys! :-) I'm just reviewing what *I* heard.)
01: "Who I Am"
This song is FANTASTIC. I feel like my entire review is going to consist of superlatives, so I'll try to tone them down, but this one's warranted. It describes the fall out of her break-up with her kid's father (who she was apparently not legally married to). "I had to get rid of the weight on my fourth finger, left hand," she sings. The song is about how hardships make you stronger and turn you into a better person. It's a little bitter, a little brittle and very, very real. She apologizes to fans who think her image is tarnished but explains in a very real way what happens sometimes in people's lives. She needs no apologies though, because on top of the song's depth, it actually has a BEAT YOU CAN MOVE TO. Amazing. The one sour note is the line "everything he eats I cook" but I am willig to accept that maybe this is a personal reference I don't understand. Either way, I can live with it because this song is a bang-up way to get things rolling and all I want to do is hear more. 11/10
Brandy, having said her piece about her personal life, is now letting us know under no uncertain terms that this album is firmly R&B and NOT pop. The bubble gum is gone, replaced by pulsing beats and impressive vocal embellishments. No, she's not a very strong singer. But it barely matters. This song gets you moving and keeps you moving. 10/10
03: "Who Is She To U"
I am taking off one point automatically for the mispelling of this title. It smacks of Avril Lavigne "Sk8r Boi" nonsense. In my opinion, there's rarely any reason to mis-spell something on purpose, and reducing "you" to "U" is the kind of thing 10-year-olds do in letters to other 10-year-olds. Blech. Okay, having gotten that rant off my chest, I can safely say that this song is a wonderful example of how suspicion and lies creep in and destroy relationships, and how a person's past can never really leave them behind. The video was pretty lame, but the song on its own stands up nicely and has a beat you can move to, as good R&B should. 9/10
04: "Talk About Our Love"
Kanye West doesn't know it yet, but he and I are getting married. So I have to support my future spouse in his endeavors, and tend to grade higher for anything he's involved in. However, I can state *relatively* objectively that this song is good on its own merits, regardless of my Kanye obsession. His rap is so sweet and delightful and the song itself is a great testament to how other people's interference can ruin an otherwise perfectly fine relationship. Is Brandy trying to tell us something about her own break-up? Even if she's not, the song hums with energy and vitality and did I mention how much I heart Kanye?? If you can get Brandy's lame dancing attempts from the video out of your head, you'd do well to go ahead and do so because this song on its own is a keeper! 11/10
05: "I Tried"
This is the first song where Brandy references her obvious adoration for the British band Coldplay, which is really cool. It's always interesting to think about what kind of music people who make music professionally actually buy themselves. And the fact that her musical tastes are so diverse has only made her own album that much better for the new influence that she's bringing into the traditional R&B. Note that Amazon calls this song "Cool (Thought I'd Be)" which is a line from the song referencing Brandy's attempt to be in a relationship with a player. "I tried to be blind to your game/Deep down I knew you wouldn't stay around/Shoulda left your side in the first place/But I thought I'd be cool when you would play around." Is she trying to tell us something else about her relationship with that producer? Maybe, maybe not. But whoever she's talking about, the song hits a note of more depth than I would have thought her capable of. 10/10
06: "Where You You Wanna Be"
She has a man who needs to choose between her and another woman, and she's giving him the ultimatum. The song is so smooth and so easy on the ears and the beats and melody and vibe of it are fantastic. It's all coming together here, and I STILL can't believe this is Brandy! 10/10
Another player or the same one who gave her the baby and broke her heart? In this version, Brandy's lamenting the fact that she can't resist this person who keeps hurting her, and how important it is for her to try and put him aside and keep her "focus." Good advice for you young whippersnappers! ;-) 10/10
This title might not make a lot of sense to people who aren't familiar with Southern slang. As a matter of fact, I don't know that Brandy (who sometimes ridiculously calls herself "B-Rock") has any real Southern cred either, since she is from L.A., but her parents are almost certainly from the south, like most Black people in L.A. anyway so we won't quibble over that. The song is fast, has a great beat, and succeeds in getting you moving. The one sour note is the line "Much love to my people/treat 'em like we're all equal." I'm proabably too nitpicky, but her saying "treat 'em LIKE we're all equal" seems like she's really saying they aren't. This is a throwback to the annoying, self-centered Brandy of old, and I don't want her here! And speaking of lyrics, what the heck does "I'ma need a sponge roller/and some sweet pajamas" mean? However, lyrics aside, this is a fun song overall. 8/10
09: "Turn It Up"
"I want some 90s music/not an album filler." In this song, Brandy's harkening back to her days starting out in the undustry in the early 90s, and it's a fun effort. Unfortunately, by mentioning that she wants a song that's NOT just "filler" she basically admits that filler is exactly what this song is. Whoops! This song also contains the first reference to Aaliyah, whom Brandy calls "Baby girl" in a way that is touching and familiar. For her to be able to pull that off in a song that's also a DANCE piece and not a sad ballad is so impressive that I'm giving it a perfect score even if it is filler. 10/10
Smooth R&B but not as great as some of the others. Very simplistically written and not too deep, but not everything has to be! Overall enjoyable. 8.5/10
11: "Say You Will"
Simple, smooth and beautiful. No embellishments needed. Just a girl singing the truth and doing it well. The only thing I'd complain about it how anti-feminist lines like "All I wanna do/is have three, four kids by you/and have some more if you want me to" are. But hey, if that's seriously all she wanted from this person, then at least she's honest. 9/10
12: "Come As You Are"
This is a song about growing up and how relationships change. It's also a frank testament from Brandy to her listeners and her fans that she has grown up. "Now I'm a woman, a passionate woman," she declares. And you believe her. None of that in-between Britney Spears crap for her. She knows who she is, what she's about and she isn't afraid to tell everyone. And if you don't like it . . . To top it off, the beat is again phenomenal. Timbaland (who I think produced the whole album) is really outdoing himself with each track. Great stuff. 9/10
One of the best songs on the ablum, beat-wise. It moves AND it tells a story about Brandy's new life developments, just like the first track. She's still going strong 13 tracks into this album, and I am still blown away.
Also it's occurring to me now that this album is actually a JOURNEY. If you listen closely, you'll see that each song contains a piece of that journey, and this relationship, and this voyage to self-discovery. The initial high with "Afrodisiac," the ineveitable possessiveness and jealousy of "Who Is She To U," dealing with family and friends in "Talk About Our Love" and heartbreak after heartbreak after heartbreak. It's all here! And in this track, Brandy finally finds the strength to leave this destructive relationship. Wow. I am suddenly so grateful to have been allowed along for the ride. 12/10
14: "How I Feel"
Another smooth entry, easy on the ears and totally the stuff great R&B is made of. It's so impressive how so few of these songs seem like filler. Almost any of these could be released on the radio. Almost all of them SAY something. This is no exception, because it describes how much she misses this guy, despite everything he did to her. Now that she finally found the strength to leave, part of her wants him back. So true to life, and so eerily, uncannily accurate . . . this album is really a confessional, and so much better than Usher's album of the same name and supposedly the same purpose. I find myself actually sorry that the album is coming to an end. 10/10
15: "Should I Go"
This song's appearance at the end of the album is interesting, since it talks about her conflicting feelings about returning to the music industry and doing another album. She admits that she's financially secure now, and that the industry's changed so much -- and so has she -- that she doesn't know if she can make a go at it anymore. Her honesty is amazing, and so is this song. She speaks directly to Aaliyah this time, expressing such genuine sadness at losing a colleague (and, one hopes, a friend) that it almost brings tears to the eyes. When, in the end, she decides to go forward with the album, it shouldn't be a surprise since obviously we just listened to the album and the outcome of the conflict is known ahead of time. But it's still gripping to listen to . . . AND IT'S SET TO THE TUNE OF COLDPLAY'S "CLOCKS." UN. BE. Lievable.
Thanks for deciding not to go, Brandy. If you keep making albums like this, then I hope you never go. You got me, after all these years -- AND you have made the best album of your career. Congratulations girl. 15/10