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Brandy Knows What Works...
on August 21, 2004
A decade into her career, Brandy shows she still has what it takes to entertain fans and casual listeners alike on her latest album "Afrodisiac" which debuted at #3 on Billboard's album chart in July.
Although she only co-wrote one of the album's fifteen tracks; the eye-opening "Finally," it is certain that most of the material on this album was written with the singer specifically in mind. Take for instance the defiant opening track "Who I Am."
"Just for the sake of my daughter/I tried to stick to the plan/But I had to get rid of the weight/On my fourth finger, left hand/To everybody listening/Sorry if you're disappointed/See the life I chose was only what/I thought I wanted/Nothing's picture perfect/Looks can be deceiving."
Even though a great deal of the subject matter is deep and reflects the burdens of the singer's life from the past few years, this does not prevent "Afrodisiac" from being stuffed with potential hit singles. Although the lead single "Talk About Our Love" featuring Kanye West failed to become a smash hit despite a catchy chorus and delightfully retro vibe, "Who Is To U," could easily become the disc's first smash hit. If the original does not ignite at radio it is almost guaranteed that the forthcoming remix planned featuring the ever-overrated Usher most certainly will.
In addition, the mellow romanticism of "Say You Will" is as catchy as it is charming, and "Turn It Up," where Brandy tips her hat to Timbaland, who produced the majority of the disc, are both the kinds of songs that should find themselves getting overplayed at radio. The title track, where Timbaland samples his own production of the late Aaliyah's "Are You That Somebody" and "Necessary" are also worthy of honorable mention.
The closing track "Should I Go," which cleverly samples Coldplay's incredible hit "Clocks," references Aaliyah and finds Brandy pondering if the music industry is all that important to her at this stage in her life. It makes an excellent conclusion to the disc.
"Just to be in the presence/Of the people that you affected/The personal level/Just makes me stop for a second/You were such a blessing/You helped answer all my questions/Should I go/Should I stay/I'm in control/Either way."