"Right Here (Departed)" (CD single)

Music review by
Jacqueline Rupp, Common Sense Media
"Right Here (Departed)" (CD single) Music Poster Image
Brandy returns with an emotional new single.

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The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Intense emotions of sorrow and grief are discussed in the song, but there are also reassurances that love and family will be there through hard times: "When you're trapped and there's just no key, and you can't breathe, I breathe for you, the fire's got you down on both knees, and the walls are closing in, but I will break it through."

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Brandy sings about depressing, overwhelming emotions but then reassures listeners that "I will be right here with you, you'll be right here with me." The video for the song takes this theme one step further by showing grieving family members being visited by a spirit-like Brandy, who comforts them.

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What's the story?

It's been four long years since Brandy released an album. In that time, she appeared as a judge on the popular TV series America's Got Talent and, perhaps more notably, was involved in a freeway accident that claimed the life of another driver. She hasn't really been heard from in public since -- until this summer, when the first song off of her newest LP, Human (set for a November release) appeared online. RIGHT HERE (DEPARTED) is a thoughtful, comforting song about surviving difficult times.

Is it any good?

It takes a certain level of guts for a singer whose career has been marred by a tragic car accident to come back with a single that opens with the lines, "Oh when you feel your heart's guarded, and you see the brakes started ...When your life is going too fast, off the train tracks, I can slow it down."

But the gamble seems to have paid off. Brandy sings with confidence and spirit. Given her past, her refrains of "You'll be right here with me, I'll be right here with you" seem less like pop platitudes and more like reassurances from someone who's survived hard times. That, plus the mix of a fast, disco-style chorus and smooth R&B standards, makes this enjoyable track worth a listen.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Brandy returning to the musical spotlight after several years -- a hiatus that included her 2006 involvement in a car accident in which another driver was killed. Do you think a tragedy like that affects how the public perceives someone in the public eye? Should it?

Music details

  • Artist: Brandy
  • Release date: August 13, 2008
  • Label: Epic
  • Genre: R&B/Pop
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No

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