What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that former teen queen Brandy, now a single mother, brings newfound maturity and sophistication to her fourth CD. The songs are mostly appealing "R&B lite," although some of the lyrics come off sounding surprisingly needy.
What's the story?
No longer a child star, Brandy delivers sexy R&B ballads with polished sophistication on AFRODISIAC. Perhaps not the most exciting album of the year, but it's appealing and pleasant. Brandy's lyrical messages veer wildly between feisty independence and extreme neediness (sort of like real life?); her voice is lovely and strong; the music tracks are produced with skill, care, and even a bit of imaginative playfulness. Changes in Brandy's personal life -- becoming a mother and ending a relationship with her baby's father -- seem to bring depth and maturity to her performance as well as to her lyrics: \"Just for the sake of my daughter/I tried to stick to the plan/But I had to get rid of the ring/on my fourth finger, left hand,\" (on \"Who I Am\").
Is it any good?
There's a lot to like about this album. "Talk About Love," features Kanye West singing with Brandy in a hip-hop/R&B duet, and the chemistry sparkles. Another high point is "Sadiddy," an irresistible dance tune with wonderful call-and-response backup vocals and an infectious rhythm track. Timbaland produced the CD and his influence is unmistakable. Brandy's vocals are skillfully self-assured, plus she sounds like she's having some fun.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about whether some of the songs express a certain neediness, despite Brandy's new maturity. Such lyrics can serve as a jumping-off point for discussions about self-esteem and peer pressure.