Brandy’s sixth studio R&B album titled Two Eleven debuted Oct. 12, 2012 and since then has racked up countless positive feedback from the Hip-Hop and R&B community. Debuting at No.3 on the Billboard 200 chart, the R&B veteran celebrates her first top 10 album in over eight years (Afrodisiac which also peaked at No.3 on the same Billboard 200 chart in June of 2004). Although Brandy’s latest album has gained a lot of success over the last ten days of its debut, there’s still an underlying question that becomes apparent while listening to the album: “Is this Brandy’s best work overall?
While sitting down and preparing myself to listen to Two Eleven, I had high hopes and a positive outlook for what I was assured was Brandy’s best work. But as I began to play the album, it did not take long for me to become disappointed. The album may have soared through everyone’s expectations, but to me it bombed; and not in a good way. Most of the album was boring with just a few exceptions of songs like “Wildest Dreams,” “Put It Down” (featuring Chris Brown), and “Hardly Breathing.” These three had more potential than the entire album itself. Seeing that Brandy had been working on Two Eleven back and forth for three years since her last album (Human, December 2008 which debut at No.15 on Billboard 200), collaborated with a Grammy award winner/ R&B singer Chris Brown, and had songs written for the album by fellow R&B artist and famed song writer Frank Ocean and even had the talents of music producer Sean Garrett, I along with a number of people were expecting a lot more.
“I guess I did expect more…especially with ‘Put It Down’ as a first single,” said William Cox, a freshman at Morgan State University. “It was just trash, like all her stuff sounds the same on that CD,” he went on to say, and I agreed. The songs “So Sick,” “Slower,” and “Without You,” felt and sounded typically the same, minus the beats on each track. In Brandy’s words, the album is “more about what I’ve seen and what I’ve been through,” she stated when she sat down with a reporter from Essence.com days after its release. The album is centered on love experiences and down falls, but still lacks the necessary emotion to draw in the message of what exactly she has experienced. Brandy’s five previous albums gave a note on love and how to experience it. Most of the albums, minus her latest work, have done a great job of succeeding that note.
Overall, Brandy’s Two Eleven album was not at all what I had anticipated, given the praise it received before I listened to it. Being a previous “Brandy Fan,” I wanted to hear more; with this being her sixth album within her nearly 20 year career. I wanted to see Brandy put herself out there in the music industry with this album, and brand herself as an artist who is more than willing to continue doing music. In general, I rate the album Two Eleven a “Fail,” and in some way a “last dramatic effort” on her part. The 33 year old R&B singer/actress has talent, but in this album it is not present.