Two Eleven

Studio Album by released in 2012

Two Eleven review

An uneasy background for the new release

Brandy’s sixth studio record is interesting to her fans not only as a full-length, large-scale music work of a good performer, but also as another stage in her career where prospects started looking pretty dim after the crash of her previous album, Human (2008). That CD was a disappointment both as a commercial endeavor and a music offer, causing the singer to look for a new label and take a long while excusing herself before supporters, who, in cases like that, are very reluctant to accept or even understand any explanations. However, four years is a substantial period which allows a musician to do make corrections, find new partners and, most importantly, new sources of inspiration. All this was done, and on her fresh album, Brandy sounds a lot more convincing than before. The just-issued record is called Two Eleven, which is both the singer’s birthday and the day when her inspirer and teacher Whitney Huston died.

Ballads are where she wins

Single Put Down, whose mission was promoting the approaching long player, was not a big success. After it failed to climb high in the charts, Brandy’s followers got ready to be disappointed one more time. However, Put Down is not at all a song by which the whole set of the new album should be appraised. The track itself is not bad, and together with Let Me Go, they form a duet of great smashing club hits to be welcomed at any dance floor. But these are not the ones to show Brandy’s potential. It is when tempo slows down and lyrics get serious meaning, a story that looks like a true-to-life episode, the singer demonstrates all that lot that she is capable of. Ballads, each as good as any other, are designed for thoughtful listeners inclined to look for nuances and details. The second single off the album, Wildest Dreams, illustrates how deeply emotional an R&B track can be if, apart from powerful and spacious beats, heartbreaking piano is offered and in vocals each key is an exposed nerve. No Such Thing As Too Late, and Without You are heartfelt ballads molded according to all the laws and rules, with a calm in a verse before a storm in a chorus. А Wish Your Love Away, and Scared Of Beautiful are impressive because of amazing music and great lyrics. How can we deny now that a decent vocal deserves a decent song-writing?

Return of faith

A streak of gloomy events in Brandy’s life shortly before the start of the works on Two Eleven could not but have their impact on the moods, consequentially, the lyrics and the music of the new album. But we are not offered here a standard set of variations on ‘What to do after you’re left’ topic. The stories of ballads on Two Eleven in most cases are much deeper and bear a very personal character. Scared Of Beautiful, written by Frank Ocean, tells of the singer’s battle against weight problems. Hardly Breathing is a confession of a woman who is tired of being desolated after relationships and afraid to take chances again. In brief, Brandy’s fresh studio effort is a serious, consistent work, regarding not only technical and musical aspects, but also the emotional message conveyed by her through these songs. All those who doubted if she would be able to return to the past form, or was afraid that her troubles in professional and personal life would break her down, must believe in this wonderful singer again after listening to this album.