This week, Brandy‘s new album Two Eleven dropped and I couldn’t be happier. This Brandy’s first album with new labels Chameleon and RCA after leaving Epic Records in 2008. That’s also when we had an album from Brandy last. This new disc boasts a load of production and song writing collaborators which is also a first for Brandy. I’m glad to say that she put all the right people in place to make sure that this album was R&B gold. While many artists in this genre have slipped more into the dance/pop genre like Ne-Yo, Chris Brown and Kelly Clarkson, Brandy stays true to herself.
I think I may be one of the few folks that actually loved her lead-off single from the album which featured, Chris Brown. I couldn’t get the hook of Put It Down out of my head for weeks after hearing it for the first time. But don’t fret, that track doesn’t even come close to giving you an example of what the album is like. Oh, and if you’re curious about the title, it definitely carries a heavy meaning. Two Eleven refers to Brandy Norwood’s birthday and is also the day her dear friend and music legend, Whitney Houston passed away. Audio clips and my full album review below.
Cool beat and great synths with “Mafia” being repeated robotically in the background but it literally serves no purpose in the album’s entirety. I’m not sure why it’s here.
2. Wildest Dreams
I love the bass that pushes this track forward and right off the bat, Brandy’s voice reminds us of the Brandy we love to hear. While I love the track, I’m not sure if it was the right track to kick-off the album, especially after that weak intro. 3.5 / 5
3. So Sick
This song is so fresh. I love the eerie synth in the background the tune of the bass drum makes your chest rattle. The classic R&B harmonies in the verses are a great play against the track’s production when the electric guitar kicks in. So good! 3.5 / 5
Another fresh jam for Brandy. This was definitely a shot at Brandy showing off her sexier side. Honestly, I have a hard time picturing Brandy in this kind of role. I love the lyrics but don’t really believe them coming from her. 3 / 5
5. No Such Thing as Too Late
Right away, I could tell this track was produced with the help of Rico Love. It has his stamp written all over it. I really like this song. The lyrics are beautiful and definitely carry a lot of soul. This is Brandy I love the most. Story time. Listen up! 4 / 5
6. Let Me Go
Sampling a little Lykke Li, Brandy and Bangladesh definitely tried to channel a different side of Rihanna here. Is it weird that I think I would like this song more if Kelly Rowland or Rihanna sang it. Brandy’s voice makes it a little soft IMHO. 3 / 5
7. Without You
This track doesn’t stand out for me at all. It definitely fills like a little bit of a filler track for me. Brandy’s vocals sound great but the beat and instrumental are pretty repetitive. Maybe a visual atop the track would serve me better. 2.5 / 5
8. Put It Down (featuring Chris Brown)
Again, I think I am one of the only people who actually love this single. I just love Bangladesh and Sean Garrett. Anything they produce usually gets my feet moving but it’s the “imma put it down, you gonna fall in love” that has me diggin’ this one. 4 / 5
9. Hardly Breathing
Hands down one of my favorite tracks on the album and truly think this is the song she should have kicked the album off with. Wow! The lyrics, the production, her vocals. This song is a home run and I really really hope it becomes a single. 4.5 / 5
10. Do You Know What You Have?
When I first heard this track, I was hoping to hear that opening guitar riff throughout but unfortunately, it’s just the intro/outra for the producer. However, this song is solid and a great R&B earworm that reminds me of a Damita Jo track. 4 / 5
11. Scared of Beautiful
With the help of Frank Ocean lyrically, this song is definitely one of the strongest on the album. This track is full of emotion both in the lyrics and in the production as well. Also another one of my all around favorites from the disc. 4 / 5
12. Wish Your Love Away
I’m not sure how I feel about this song. My first listen was definitely a no, but my second time around, I kind of dug it. Now I’m on listen three and I love it. The chorus and hook is what really sells me on this song as a whole. 3 / 5
13. Paint This House
This Rico Love co-production is a great way to end the album. The drum beat is killer and the lyrics are so great really showcasing Brandy’s raspy voice. I am thankful she didn’t end the album with a total bummer. This track doesn’t disappoint. 4 / 5
Just like the intro, this little outra doesn’t serve the album at all.
What do you think of Brandy’s, Two Eleven? Share your thoughts below.