Brandy has been a muse for two of the most amazing producers of our time, so when it was announced that she was making a splash back onto the scene with a new album, I was pleasantly surprised. Her first single, “♫ Right Here (Departed)” dropped in August and featured Brandy and her signature vocals, but I had to admit that I was a little concerned about the direction of the song and the overall album.
I was eager to hear more from the project, especially to find that Brandy was reuniting with long time friend and collaborator, Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins. Their chemistry is absolutely undeniable, which is why he took the reigns on more than half of the album this time around (Brandy hadn’t worked with Rodney since Full Moon in 2002). Although a couple of tracks from Toby Gad (on the titled track, “Human”), and Surf Club’s Hit Boy (“1st & Love”) are sprinkled throughout the album, Brandy confidently shows her musical ear and the importance of cohesion on an album.
Human, Brandy’s fifth studio album, is full of mid-tempos that really display Brandy’s ability vocally. I think that most of the material was crafted for Brandy to flex her vocal muscles, and finds her at her most open and free. Coming from Afrodisiac, I was expecting some more up-tempo tracks, and admittedly, at first, Human dragged a bit for me, but the pace of the album has surely caught up with me after playing it a few more times. What really rings is the fact that Brandy recorded material that was really true for her. This album is a testament to all that she’s been through over the past few years, and I respect that about her.
Check out this video of the making of Human!
My favorite tracks include the beautiful “A Capella (Something’s Missing),” which is nothing short of a masterpiece (Brandy uses her voice as in instrument and is backed by no track, just her own pipes), the album’s opening cut, “The Definition,” as well as “Piano Man,” “Shattered Heart,” and of course, the album’s closing track, the Natasha Bedingfield-assisted “Fall.”
Brandy definitely marks a lot of points in my life that I can distinctly remember. I always loved Brandy’s first album – some of those first songs that Brandy recorded were classics. Then, with her second album, Never Say Never, I remember that being the first album my mom sent me while I was away at summer camp. 2002′s Full Moon has some of the most feel-good songs on it, and Afrodisiac brings me back to the summer when I moved into my first apartment. Brandy has one of the most amazing voices, vocal arrangements and adlibs of any artist of our time. Her voice just does something to me; it transcends barriers.
Make sure you pick up your copy of Human, tomorrow, December 9th, in stores and online everywhere!