Review: Brandy - Human

Posted by Mack of Sound-Savvy On 1:53 PM

“These flaws I’ve got, they’re a part of who I am…and I’m so done tryin to be everything you want. I gotta stop, cause baby you ain’t worth it, if I gotta camouflage…”

Artist: Brandy
Album: Human
Release Date: 12.9.08

More than 4 years after the release of the very introspective Afrodisiac, which was released during a period of evolution and frustration, Brandy re-emerges with her fifth studio album. This release is equally as personal but with a considerably lighter feel. Human is an album about the discovery of self and finding joy in that discovery. It’s very melodious in nature with some understandably solemn undertones, stronger vocals and a focus on more mature content. Longtime fans will notice less up-tempo tracks, replaced by more slow jams and mellow mid-tempos.

The album opens with an interlude of Brandy defining what it means to be human, followed up by The Definition. This song marks the official return of B-Rocka, an alias coined for the songstress by longtime collaborator Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, the producer on this song. A soft piano melody is the highlight of Piano Man, one of the many emotive mid-tempo tracks: “Play me a song about heartache, I promise I can sing every word…” The second single, Long Distance, is a vocal highlight, a power ballad that showcases Brandy’s vocal maturity and is another product of her reunion with Darkchild. Camouflage is an anecdote about finding comfort in your own skin and not in the perspectives of others. Love is welcomed throughout this album, but given a disclaimer on Shattered Heart. This song is a highlight for me because it just sounds good all around, from the haunting vocal background to the depth of the story and metaphoric lyrics. 1st and Love is just plain cute: Brandy recounts her first interaction with the object of her affection on that figurative corner. Vocally, True is also quite notable as is Fall, the closing ballad co-written by Natasha Bedingfield. The only downfall on this project is Warm It Up (With Love); though inspirational in nature, it comes off as slightly cheesy and rather poppy.

There’s a lot to be said for putting out such a great album after 14 years in the industry – and I STILL wanna be down! I was quite impressed at how poetic this album is, from start to finish. With each new release, her vocals have gotten stronger, her content has matured as she has grown, and she reaches new heights. It’s also great to see that after one album without him, she and Darkchild have rekindled their musical chemistry and are as great now as ever. The past few years have proven to be a test of Brandy’s will to persevere and still return to the one thing that gives her the most joy – her music. Through love lost and found, there is an inner strength and peace that Brandy seems to have found that shines through on this entire album… and that’s what makes her human!

Sound-Savvy officially rates Human with 5 out of 5 platinum headphones.

Related Posts:
Video: Brandy - Long Distance
Video: Brandy - Right Here (Departed)


1 Comment

  1. I can't WAIT until this drops in my Itunes on Monday....I'm glad to hear she's maintained her winning formula. She knows what works for her and that's what she works in.

    Posted on December 2, 2008 at 2:52 PM


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