Top 4 Deep Cuts from Brandy’s ‘Two Eleven’ Album

 

The “Vocal Bible” nickname has been bestowed upon Brandy for her vocal acrobatics and inexplicable natural ability to sing. However, Brandy Norwood is much more than her voice. In fact, her most redeeming quality is her nuanced storytelling as an artist. Every album that has been graced with those hypnotic eyes of hers has been complete from top to bottom, both vocally and thematically.

While some may argue that Never Say Never and Full Moon are artistic perfection, Two Eleven is too, but with a twist. The beauty of Two Eleven is the multi-edge edge sword of sound that it wields. The album is noticeably handled by hip-hop producers, but thanks to its host of R&B writers, the songs on the album are able to catch the spirit of the R&B genre today — a whole five years ahead of schedule.

If you take a listen to “Hardly Breathing,” do you not hear shades of Dawn Richard? Or maybe if you paid close enough attention to the vocal layering on “Wish Your Love Away,” you would hear the same on Tamar’s latest album. You can even compare “Put It Down” to K. Michelle’s “Either Way.” Aside from boasting the same feature, the candor and aggression in the lyrical content is almost uncanny. This album is for the Sabrina Claudio’s just as much as it is for the Sevyn Streeter’s and even the reaches the artistic bubble of a more established artist like Tamia. In short, Two Eleven, as a whole, is THAT album.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best deep cuts from the five-year-old body of work. Check  it out:

“Paint This House”

Brandy’s smoky vocals take center stage, backed by her airy background vocals and hauntingly pulsing production from Rico Love, Eric Goudy III and Pierre Moody. On the song, Brandy is in the mood for love-making and some “room redecorating” with her new lover. “And I want these stairs, those walls/Kitchen counters, and those chairs/To remind you of how good it feels/And all of these floors and ceilings/And every hallway, yeah/Not and inch will go untouched/Let’s paint this house with our love,” she sings. With lyrics so obviously sexual, Ms. Norwood brings her signature tender tone to song, creating a sensual jam for any bedroom-thumping situation.

“Slower”

Following a similar narrative as “Paint This House,” Brandy decides to take control this time when it comes to the moment of love-making and passion. “My baby got a lot to learn/Come here let mama bring you up to speed/A couple of changes/A couple of things I want to go over/Couple of hours is all I need/So let’s get it started,” she sings. The genius house production from Dave Taylor both compliments and juxtaposes Brandy’s vocals and lyrics extremely well.

“Without You”

Brandy’s voice takes full flight on this apologetic anthem. “Boy somewhere along the line I lost my way/And I made you pay for the mistakes he made/And I’m sorry baby, cause it shouldn’t be that way/Oh Boy, I really need you, I need you in my life/Cause oh boy I’m nothing, oh no I’m nothing without you,” she sings. Seeing the grave error in bringing baggage from the past into a current relationship, Brandy showcases her vocal power and grit to win her man back. And although we’d love just a piano behind her, the kick-snare and cymbal give this almost-but-not-quite-a-single the touch of bounce that it needs.

“Wish Your Love Away”

Brandy is trying to get over the one that should have been the one on this somber ballad. “I wish that there was no more sleepless nights for me/You can look inside my heart and see/How I’m feelin, baby/Or maybe you just don’t give a damn/Could I be foolish to give a damn, baby?/’Cause I’m to the point where I wish/Boy, I wish that I didn’t love you,” she sings. The track is just so sonically vivid-imagine rain softly falling on your windowpane as this song plays in the background-that it didn’t even need her vocals to be impactful. But, that’s not to say that her vocals aren’t appreciated, especially at the end of the song where the music fades out to just her immaculate vocal layering. Brandy’s resonance both in voice and artistry is perfectly encapsulated by this tune, and hints at how this album will undoubtedly stand the test of time.

What’s your favorite song from “Two Eleven?” Let us know in the comment section below.

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Tammy Rivera Releases ‘All These Kisses’ Music Video

Tammy Rivera is keeping the music train moving with the release of her “All These Kisses” music video.

The video follows three men who live in the same city, but live very different lives. They all, however, experience similar heartbreaks, and all find their respective ways to heal. In an interview with WBLS, Rivera discussed what is what like working with Rico Love, who produced the single.

“Working with Rico Love was like surreal. It was amazing. Just the fact that the thought I had enough talent to get in the studio with me. He made me feel comfortable.He just knew what to get out of me what I didn’t even know I had in myself,” Rivera said.

“All These Kisses” is Rivera’s official debut single, which peaked at No. 3 on the iTunes R&B chart upon its release in June. Watch the “All These Kisses” music video below.

Kelela Releases a Visual for ‘Blue Light’

Kelela has dropped her video for “Blue Light” from her debut album, Take Me ApartDirected by Helmi, the video appears to be set in an ice cave, where Kelela’s hair magically takes over her body.

The Washington, D.C. native is gearing up to release her new short film, All It Took, which will premiere on November 12 at the New Museum in New York.

Speaking on her inspiration behind Take Me Apart, Kelela said, “Despite it being a personal record, the politics of my identity informs how it sounds and how I choose to articulate my vulnerability and strength. I am a black woman, a second-generation Ethiopian-American, who grew up in the ‘burbs listening to R&B, jazz and Björk. All of it comes out in one way or another.”

Watch Kelela’s video for “Blue Light” below.

K. Michelle Serves and Stunts in ‘Birthday’ Music Video

Over the years, K. Michelle has strived to produce great visual content for her music and her newest video for “Birthday” might be her best work yet.

The technical first single from her upcoming album Kimberly: The People I Used to Know, has received video treatment in the form of a sensualized private party, with the star, of course, being Ms. Michelle.  Long hair, short hair, or don’t care, K. Michelle stunned in all of her video looks, from her sexy strut in her booty-baring, all-red ensemble, to her staunchly collared shirt, teardrop earring, and blonde buzz cut.

“How it feel to be a winner? / Never a beginner, tell ’em I’m a pretty sinner / Birthday suit is what you have for dinner / Don’t fight me, I’m a Pisces, birthday cake up on his white T / Turn downs unlikely, he checkin’ for me like I’m Nike,” she sings.

Kimberly: The People I Used to Know is set to release on December 8 and will be the fourth studio album for the Atlantic Records signee. K. Michelle’s current radio single “Make This Song Cry,” along with the original and remixed version of “Either Way,” are now available on all digital platforms.

Watch the video for “Birthday” below.