Review : Brandy - Human
BostonLong breaks are usually a bad idea in the pop music world, where trends change quickly. But sometimes those breathers allow fans a chance to miss their favorite artists, who do some maturing in private.
Brandy has been missed while she has faced some serious challenges - including being involved in a 2006 car accident that killed another driver - since her underrated 2004 release, "Afrodisiac." But the former "Moesha" star has never made a bad album, and she's not starting now with the appropriately rich and varied "Human."
Her wisest move here is reuniting with the producer responsible for her greatest successes ("The Boy Is Mine"). Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins manages to balance cool and bubbly pop soul jams like "Piano Man" with warmer, more organic tracks like the gospel-tinged "Long Distance" and bring out the expressive best in her pleasantly raspy vocalizing....full text
GuardianBrandy Norwood was last heard pondering her future in music on her excellent 2004 album Afrodisiac - so her return, after a four-year hiatus that saw her involved in a car crash, is a surprise. Human is a thoughtful, intimate work on which Norwood sings movingly about fragility and fear. "Play me a song about heartache - I swear I can sing every word," she pleads on Piano Man. Something's Missing is an astonishing near-a cappella on which Brandy is accompanied by multiple versions of herself - humming a droning bassline, providing an insistent rhythm. The album's finest moment comes when Norwood turns to face the world, though: Right Here (Departed) is a cosmic, ride-or-die declaration of epic scope....full text
EwBrandy, where were you a few months back? At that time, the Top 40 fans among us were so finished kissing a girl and were besieged by some Pussycat Doll atrocity. A frothy confection of pop like this one would have been manna. Unfortunately, it's a few months later, and Human will be the third holiday buy for mainstream-music fans, behind Beyoncé's and Pink's superior, more original albums. Rightly so, since by comparison, Brandy isn't offering much of a rallying cry: ''If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it'' seriously dusts Brandy's ''I'm only human — forgive me.''...full text
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