AFRODISIAC

JANE STEVENSON

, Last Updated: 1:25 PM ET


AFRODISIAC
Brandy
(Atlantic-Warner)

Modern R&B singer Brandy has been through the ringer -- she had a child and has already divorced -- and she's only in her mid-20s.

The good news is the ever-smiling diva isn't afraid to talk about her trials and tribulations on her latest record, with some help from her main collaborator, producer/beatmaker Timbaland.

It makes her fourth solo effort, her meatiest yet, and most listenable to boot.

"I tried to make me love you, I tried to make me stay, but every time I tried, myself and I got in the way / Just for the sake of my daughter, I tried to stick to the plan, but I had to get rid of the weight on my fourth finger, left hand," she sings on the album opener, Who I Am.

Similar territory is mined on Who Is She 2 U, Talk About Our Love, I Tried, Where You Wanna Be, Focus, Sadiddy and Finally.

Personal content aside, there are a few departures stylistically, such as the poppier title song and beat-driven, urban dance tracks like Sadiddy and Turn It Up and the dramatic Finally, which are bound to draw comparisons to that other one-named R&B diva, Beyonce.

Otherwise, hip-hop newcomer Kanye West joins Brandy on the first single, Talk About Our Love, which he also wrote. But it is one of the least interesting tracks on the overlong 15-track collection, as it samples the strings of Gilly Hines by prog-funk pioneers Mandrill.

A better sample is that of Coldplay's piano anthem Clocks, which drives the album-ending Should I Go, a song that finds Brandy wondering about her place in the current pop universe.

Track Listing
1. About Brandy (Intro)
2. Sadiddy
3. Who Is She 2 U
4. Talk About Our Love - featuring Kanye West
5. Cool (Thought I'd Be)
6. Afrodisiac
7. Where You Wanna Be
8. Focus
9. How I Feel
10. Say You Will
11. Come As You Are
12. Necessary
13. Should I Go
14. Turn It Up
 


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