It’s been 18 years since Brandy released her first single “I Wanna Be Down” in 1994. Today the singer released her sixth album, Two Eleven, her first album in nearly 4 years. Brandy has tried many times to emulate the success she had during her earlier years in the industry, but most of the attempts have failed, often seeming disingenuous and forced. Her newest project, named in honor of her birthday and the day her idol and personal friend Whitney Houston passed away, manages to be relevant while invoking a hint of nostalgia. Two Eleven mixes new trends and popular beats with the distinct and familiar tone we’ve come to expect from Brandy. She still hasn’t topped her first works, but I really don’t think she’s trying to anymore. Instead she’s fully present in the now and focused on appealing to a new crowd, creating a new sincere image and remaining true to herself and her sound.
Intro – The album begins with an instrumental track. The minute-long tune features an epic-sounding orchestra, but fails to make a lasting impression.
Wildest Dreams – Brandy’s muse (her current boyfriend) clearly brought her good luck, because the track he inspired finds Brandy aka B-Rocka going back to the sound fans grew to love on albums like Full Moon.
So Sick – Brandy breaks down the definition of “sick” in regards to a dysfunctional relationship. “Sick” is doing all the things you said you wouldn’t do and compromising everything for someone. It’s a slow groove, produced by Bangladesh and Sean Garrett that is sure to have women everywhere nodding in agreement.
Slower – Brandy isn’t a fast-paced lover, you have to take it slow with her. The singer tells her lover just how she wants it over the Switch beat. The shocker, Brandy’s “Put It Down” partner, Chris Brown, co-wrote the sexy tune.
No Such Thing As Too Late – “I ain’t into laying with just anybody | Baby, I ain’t trying to kill my body.” Brandy lets her lover know that before he can “Put It Down” he has to prove that he can be patient and deserving. The Rico Love track knocks, but Brandy’s vocals are simple, allowing the lyrics to stand out. In an over-sexualized industry, it’s extremely refreshing to here.
Let Me Go – Perhaps I’d like this song more if I wasn’t such a huge fan of the original Lykke Li song. Lyrically it leaves a lot to be desired. Still, I will admit that the song has a banging beat and a catchy hook.
Without You – Brandy regrets blaming a new lover for the last one’s mistakes in “Without You.” The slow track features simple drumming, a choppy piano melody, and passionate vocals from Brandy. Its sincerity and simplicity are what makes it one of the standout tracks on the album.
Put It Down ft. Chris Brown – Brandy’s attempt at a mainstream radio hit was an overall success. I’ll admit I wasn’t a huge fan of the song in the beginning, but it’s grown on me, though I’m still not a huge fan of Breezy putting down a rap verse instead of singing.
Hardly Breathing – “This little heart of mine won’t let you break it, not again.” Brandy warns over the Rico Love produced track. The track has a catchy hook and a relatable subject matter that I’m sure will fare well with fans.
Do You Know What You Have – Brandy reminds her man how lucky he is to have her in this Sean Garrett penned tune. This is probably one of my favorite songs on the album. The hook is super catchy, and the beat rides.
Scared Of Beautiful – I’ve been looking forward to a Brandy/Frank Ocean collaboration for a long time, so I had extremely high hopes for this track. I will admit that it’s beautifully written, and Brandy DOES sounds nice, but I found myself fantasizing about how good Frank would sound singing this song.
Wish Your Love Away – If she had one wish, she wouldn’t waste it on getting an old love back like her brother Ray J. Instead Brandy would wish love away. The somber track suits Brandy’s signature tone well.
Paint This House – Brandy isn’t shying away from the sexy tracks on this album! “Not an inch will go untouched. Let’s paint this house without our love” Brandy sings over the subtly sensual track. Many people will sleep on this track, but it’s easily one of the best on the album.
Outro – “Outro” is a continuation of the intro.
Can You Hear Me Now? – Another decent track full of sexual innuendos. Still, I kinda think the Danja and Rico Love produced track would’ve been better as an interlude.
Music – This bonus track is actually one of my favorites from the album. Similar to Neyo’s first single “Stay,” this track is a love song to Brandy’s one true love…music. It’s a simple rhythmic tune that allows Brandy’s voice to shine.
What You Need – “What You Need” is another boomtastic, repetitive track. “I’ll be in the kitchen in your favorite position,” Brandy repeats over and over on the sexually ambitious track. It may get stuck in your head temporarily, but it lacks all of the things a track needs to sustain longevity.