After a 4 year hiatus, Brandy is back with her 5th studio album, Human. It’s an extremely personal effort that sounds like entries ripped from the singer’s diary. Brandy fans will be happy to hear that her voice has matured and rides the beat effortlessly as she sings of love, hope and new beginnings. Human has Brandy linking back up with producer Rodney Jerkins on several songs including the title track “Human”, in which the singer urges listeners to embrace her flaws and all.
Brandy’s voice shines on the beautifully crafted “A Capella (Something’s Missing)”. She sings the entire beat with the faint help of an electric guitar. It is one to keep on repeat in the iPod. “Camouflage” is a lovely track that flows like Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable” but talks more of self discovery than boastful bravado. Her vocals on the powerful “Fall” make you want to fall in love with the random guy drinking coffee next to you.
Where Brandy’s voice is always flawlessly clear, the actual material is not moving. The lead single “Right there departed” irritated me to no end. The up tempo ballad didn’t inspire me to move, dance or smile. It just went on and on about nothing. “Long Distance” was another stinker. It was supposed to be presented as an emotional heartfelt ballad but came off as dull and lifeless. It was very hard for me to make it through the entire album. “Piano Man” was clever but one catchy tune does not make a great album. It is sad that a vocalist of her caliber was unable to make her comeback album more believable.
All in all, Brandy has a presented a vocally impressive yet dull album that is anybody’s guess to its chart success. My guess is Brandy won’t lose any fans with this effort but she won’t gain any either.
written by Dominique Henry
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