Review Roundup: Brandy – ‘Two Eleven’

Two Eleven

Eighteen years after the release of her multi-platinum debut, Brandy basks in the glory on her sixth album Two Eleven. Boasting big-name collaborators including Chris Brown, Frank Ocean, Rico Love, Sean Garrett, and Bangladesh, the set aims to please the toughest of R&B critics with cuts like “Wildest Dreams,” “Hardly Breathing,” and “Scared of Beautiful.”

“No gimmicks, real R&B music,” said the now 33-year-old singer of the project, which pays homage to her late idol Whitney Houston with its title.

Did Brandy deliver? Find out below.

Entertainment Weekly: Brandy scores when her raspy-sweet voice soars during ballads and slow jams, and that’s what stands out on this intimate, often ethereal collection. B+

USA Today: The raspy-voiced diva collaborates with a broad spectrum of producers and songwriters to deliver her most impassioned album in years. 3/4

The Washington Post: The album serves as a fine tribute [to Whitney Houston], in part because it is a testament to the fact that, despite whatever trends are happening in popular music right now, a good voice always shines through.

Los Angeles Times: Song titles such as “Do You Know What You Have,” “Can You Hear Me Now,” and “No Such Thing as Too Late” suggest a serious determination to get back on the right track.

The Boston Globe: Now nearly two decades into her career, Brandy delivers one of her better sets with these songs tracking love’s mysterious ways. … Frank Ocean’s keenly observed, honest “Scared of Beautiful” is among her finest moments ever.

Slant Magazine: Two Eleven is at its core a singer’s album, and it’s the clearest portrait yet of Brandy’s instrument, which in the past has tended to get lost in a clutter of intricate vocal arrangements and razzle-dazzle productions. 3.5/5

Rap-Up’s Favorite Tracks: “No Such Thing As Too Late,” “Let Me Go,” “Scared of Beautiful”



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70 Comments

  1. yo tambien

    now let’s just wait for comments to compare her to nicki on some level.

    [Reply]

    Big-V Reply:

    @yo tambien, lol I kno right

    [Reply]

    @SLICKERTHANSLY Reply:

    @yo tambien, Clearly when you look forward to it, you gonna get it. There should be no comparison. Very different spectrum. Two Eleven is an amazing album.

    [Reply]

    CITY Reply:

    @yo tambien, OR BEYONCE

    [Reply]

    OMG Reply:

    @yo tambien,

    LMFAO.. NEVER understood why nicki fans go into posts of SINGERS to compare them with Nicki.
    Nicki maybe be able to hit a note.. but she is NOT a singer.

    [Reply]

  2. T

    The masses love the album and so do the fans! she’s #winning! Go brandy go!

    [Reply]

    Girl Bye Reply:

    @T, Winning what?

    [Reply]

  3. Jay-Me

    Just finished listening to it 7 I agree. Two Eleven is an absolute win. Think it may be her best album yet!

    [Reply]

  4. Sharp Tongue

    Yay I’m so happy for her job well done.

    [Reply]

  5. Nahjee

    Yesssssssss my girl brandy kept it R&B she didn’t have to sell out like some people.

    [Reply]

  6. James

    Go Brandy!!! I’m so proud of her!

    [Reply]

  7. Don'tDoMe

    album of the year. hands down.

    [Reply]

  8. OneTwoThreeFOUR

    Lovin me some Brandy. She mutilated that 106 & Park stage. All the love that she’s been getting is all good but we need to top that by buying the album. We must reach over 100k first week sales Starz. Six more days to show her real love. As Sean Garrett would say, TURN UP!

    [Reply]

  9. humbz

    Definitely a standout album. It’s fresh, timeless and, most important, completely BRANDY.

    [Reply]

  10. the truth

    two eleven is FIRE!!! not tryin to debate or anything but brandy is the only contemporary female singer who can give beyonce a run 4 her money!!!!shez a vocal beast…a vocal bible!!!

    [Reply]

    Diego Reply:

    @the truth, Mary j still sells over gold watch what u say brandy ain’t even going gold watch

    [Reply]

    georgia23 Reply:

    @Diego, your response is the problem with our generation. We equate sales and popularity with talent which is OBVIOUSLY not right. Brandy has vocals for DAYYYYYS. The thing that separates her and Beyonce is the fact that Beyonce has made her career off of great song choice and her talent as a singer (and she is a DANG GREAT singer). She’s had the skill to be able to release songs that appeal to both R&B fans and the casual music listener with no real preference. But Brandy’s voice is incomparable because no one has a tone or the skill to accompany the innate talent that she possesses. But she has trouble selling records. Mostly because black audiences are no longer buying records. Heck, even the hip-hop artists who are moving relatively good numbers are just profiting off of White America’s need to keep some type of street cred. Don’t be fooled, the industry is NOT about talent. It’s about who’s records are selling. I have no doubt that with the right euro-pop song that Brandy could kill and snatch that other audience right up but she is a true R&B artist. Which begs the question : What’s more important? Staying true to the thing that made you a household name and the art of music you love or just sell to the masses and give them what they want? I’ll wait.

    [Reply]

    Nicki Minaj Reply:

    @georgia23, Staying true to the thing that made you a household name and the art of music ;)

    [Reply]

    SdotB Reply:

    @Nicki Minaj, that’s ironic, for someone who stans for an artist who obviously sold out to the masses and forgot all about what made her a household name, smh

    [Reply]

    RealTalk2012 Reply:

    @georgia23, Bravo well put. I couldn’t have said it better. You hit the nail on the coffin with this generation only worry about sells and comparing every female artist to “one artist” and her albums are not all that good from start to finish. Never deliveries a classic album that will be timeless 10 yrs later. With that said Brandy stayed true to her and I wish her all the success. I wish other R&B artist would stay true to their R&B roots instead of selling out!!!!

    [Reply]

  11. the truth

    Go get the vocal bibles album two eleven, the new revelation!!!! go get a copy!!! this is an album for both guys n gelz!!go get the album..

    [Reply]

  12. NeutralPerson

    I love Brandy very much. She is my 3rd favorite singer and her voice is just… amazing. But I am not feeling Two Eleven much. Besides the wonderful No Such Thing As Too Late & the flowing Wildest Dreams and maybe Without You and Wish Your Love Away the tracks are not my cup of tea which is a shame since I own every Brandy album :(
    But I miss the more melody driven songs with more tempo somehow. I would have loved to love it, but I only see myself liking it and some tracks I don’t even listen to.
    The flow of the album is really not my understanding of perfect harmony of melody, beats & lyrics.
    But I’m glad she gets the attention she deserves again and hopefully we don’t have to wait another 4 years for a new album.

    [Reply]

    ladyrt23 Reply:

    @NeutralPerson, i agree! while 2/11 was amazingly produced, it almost seemed too wrong for Brandy! Don’t get me wrong, she sound better than ever on this album but it seemed as if the beats over-shadowed her vocally. can’t lie, i was expecting to hear a ballad or two. overall, if one is a fan, they should support her music.

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    udontneedtoknow Reply:

    @NeutralPerson, 100% with you

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  13. #teamminaj

    this will be a good album

    [Reply]

  14. recklessupperechelon

    It’s a little annoying that every song says “turn the lights on” I know its a producer thing but its too much.

    [Reply]

  15. Sassyandclassy

    I’m so proud of Brandy yay love this album and yes this is the best r-n-b album of the year

    [Reply]

  16. Warren

    I think some reviews dont represent what the album is like at all.

    The album is AMAZING. Fresh r&b finally!!!

    familiar and new sounds from her, PERFECT combination. It takes even better on second listen. Dont miss it, seriously.

    She deserves success this time

    [Reply]

  17. Kwame louder

    I give this album a 9/10 go brandy

    [Reply]

  18. the truth

    @diego, m talking about vocal perfomance not sales!!! and brandy has already sold enough copies to cement herself as one of the best!!!30+million sales

    [Reply]

  19. Fire Marshall Bill

    Some of these reviewers did not give her the proper respect!!
    Nonetheless AMAZING album. Slower def needs to be her next single to get that younger generation.

    [Reply]

  20. trp

    “Without You” is my favorite record on the album, but there are no weak songs on the project. Vocally Brandy delivered!

    [Reply]

  21. TwoEleven

    Love this album man it’s her best album to date in my opinion.

    [Reply]

  22. Bethany

    Brandy gets a standing ovation from me for 2/11. Brandy obviously displayed great vocal ability on this album. You can feel that she involved herself 100%. I have always admired Brandy as an actress and songtress. Her voice is nothing less than amazing.

    [Reply]

  23. stephen

    pure heat!

    [Reply]

  24. Warren

    I understand some old school fans could not feel this album at all… but

    ‘What u need’ and ‘Let me go’ are HOTT, man!

    new sound from Brandy definetly, and soooo Welcome in my book! I wanted new Brandy and she delivered. Thanks to Bangladesh too, of course.

    [Reply]

  25. papi

    she’s the best, that’s it!!!

    [Reply]

  26. Love

    This album right here…MAN. I’m in LOVE. She really delivered with this. Scared of Beautiful had me in tears the other day. She poured her everything into that song and this entire project. I’m so so so so so happy for her! She deserves a win after everything she’s endured.

    [Reply]

    Roman Reloaded Reply:

    @Love, Frank Ocean sung it better.

    [Reply]

    Bryan A. Reply:

    @Roman Reloaded, Brandy’s & Frank Ocean’s version of the song are completely different. Frank Ocean wrote the song different for her, so there aint no Frank Ocean sung it better then Brandy”. they both sung the song there on way & style & on a Different Beat.

    [Reply]

  27. yep!

    I think this album was FORGETTABLE…i listened to it once and there are not songs I am looking forward to really hearing again…

    All the Rico Love tracks sound like Teairra Marie leftovers…and Sean Garret gave her ABC-lyrics as if he was writing for Britney Spears

    She should have just stuck with Bangladesh and Timbaland for the comeback album…or better yet got with Darkchild for the real comeback joint

    [Reply]

    lisabonae Reply:

    @yep!, i dont like the album either.

    [Reply]

    ladyrt23 Reply:

    @yep, i think Cainon Lamb would have been a great contribution to her album. He would have done well with the recreation of the original Brandy sound.

    [Reply]

  28. coolio

    can’t stop listening

    [Reply]

  29. girl bye

    should be nominated and win a grammy for best Rnb album because i see no album better than this one at this point

    [Reply]

    STFU I'm Famous Reply:

    @girl bye, AMEN!!!

    [Reply]

  30. Loo

    WHERE IS HER RESPECT IN THESE REVIEWS?

    [Reply]

  31. MusiqLover

    beautiful.

    [Reply]

  32. beyness

    It’s amazing it gives me a “Here I Am” Kelly Rowland feel (as far as flow and organization of tracks) but like on steroids!!!!

    [Reply]

    SdotB Reply:

    @beyness, u must be crazy…please don’t compare Kelly’s lackluster album to Brandy’s masterpiece…there’s no comparison…and half of Kelly’s album is pop/dance while Brandy’s is strictly R&B!!

    [Reply]

  33. Criss

    Great album. Def purchasing.

    [Reply]

  34. Kyle

    I think this might be Brandy’s best album in terms of vocal delivery, song arrangements, production, lyrics, just EVERYTHING. There is no denying this woman’s voice. It is just ONE OF A KIND and so distinctive. I am so glad she realizes her gift and shares it with her fans. My favorite tracks are “So Sick,” “Do You Know What You Have,” “Without You” and “Paint This House.” The deluxe tracks are good bonus songs but I can see why they were chosen for the deluxe as opposed to the standard. This is what you call an album set up PROPERLY.

    [Reply]

  35. Chris_DasMyName

    Brandy Needs To Win a few Grammy Award Next Year For This Record, I Don’t See Any Other Album Toping This for 2012.. NOPE!

    [Reply]

  36. Reppin' Bama!

    Love this album!!

    [Reply]

  37. MmmHmm

    BEYONCE STOLE HER THUNDER LAST NIGHT! SMH!

    [Reply]

    @cornell_antwoin Reply:

    @MmmHmm, yes…..Beyonce is a mess..no.one cares about a performance that she’s set to give a year from now with them late ass songs and choreography

    [Reply]

  38. Candice

    BOTTOM LINE IS SHE’S SLATED TO SELL 65k…. THAT TO ME SAYS IT ALL. YOU GUYS CAN NO LONGER TEY TO GIVE PRAISE AND PROPS MIGUEL , MONICA, KELLY ROWLAND ALL SOLD THIS AND YOU ALL DOGGED THEM EITHER WELCOME HER TO THE CREW OR JUST BE QUIET AND SAY YOU LOVE HER VOICE AND STILL SUPPORT HER

    [Reply]

  39. @cornell_antwoin

    We all know Beyonce is a mess. Wth would she release something about a performance a year from now ..no one cares ..

    [Reply]

  40. Asa

    Great album, but some songs literally annoy me. Well, some is too much. Just 2, Put it Down because of vocal samples and Chris. And another track with really annoying vocal samples, can’t think of the song… in tha pt one the samples are of men and women saying the song title.

    Brandy and the rest of the production on those songs is great, but those things ruin them.

    [Reply]

  41. TipTapTop

    I love Brandy and Two Eleven. And that’s all that needs to be said in regards to the album on my end. However, I do like when someone brought up the issues about comparisons, sales and so on. I just want to add that, everybody else doesn’t have Brandy’s voice or gift because they aren’t suppose to. They have their own gifts and talents/voice meant for them. And it’s no need to put them down because they don’t do music how she does it. They’re gifted in their own rights. That’s why there are many different artist to look at and listen to.

    I agree that this generation gets so consumed with sales and the workings of the industry, just because they can look up a few things on the computer. But why? If you’re not in the biz, as fan, you shouldn’t worry about those things. It’s not your job. You’re a fan sitting on the outside looking in. Bottom line is, either you like the music or you don’t. And be happy you’re getting albums from artist who were counted out and bashed because they weren’t suppose to even be releasing albums at this point in their careers.

    And I disagree that all artist sold out from their R&B roots. Plenty of great/real R&B was released by the females this year. Monica, SWV, Tamia, the R&B Divas album with Faith Evans, KeKe Wyatt, Syleena Johnson, and Nicci Gilbert of Brownstone. I could go on. It was unfortunate that none of those albums got the same support or push that these gimmick laden ignorant and poison spreading artist get.

    [Reply]

    Kyle Reply:

    @TipTapTop, Agreed! People let album sales determine whether they like the album or not. Do you know how many times I have heard, “That album flopped on the charts and sold nothing, that album SUCKS!” Album sales do not reflect the quality of the music. It’s so pathetic. I am pretty pleased with the R&B genre this year. Obviously there are a select few artists who achieve mainstream success in R&B, but I like to dig a little bit deeper and just appreciate REAL R&B MUSIC. Thanks you Brandy, Melanie Fiona, Elle Varner, Emeli Sande, Monica, Estelle, SWV, and many more who released quality R&B album this year. They are keeping the genre alive!!!

    [Reply]

    SHAWTY Reply:

    @TipTapTop, I Agree with you 100%. You have read my mind. I Really wish there weren’t so many small minded people in the world.

    [Reply]

  42. SangLikeMe

    It’s really a shame that someone as super talented as Brandy with an incredible album like Two Eleven has to start with a low 1st week sale like this. All you commenters and supporters need to spread the word and buy an album. Support real R&B and real talent because Brandy really deserves sooooo much more.

    [Reply]

  43. Warren

    We dont need to worry, word of mouth will give the album a great run, probably around one year.

    All she needs is full support from RCA and to get 4 singles.

    They are planning a tour starting on Feb and she’ll have a movie and new tv series as a lead, so she will have BIG exposure next year. And I see some more hot feattures coming. mark my words

    [Reply]

  44. R to the dIamonds down to the C

    her album is Great

    [Reply]

  45. onabrillion

    Well well well baby whitney!!!!

    [Reply]

  46. itsmister2you

    The bottom line is Brandy has been in this industry 2 decades. She has nothing to prove. What I love about her is that she is real. All of her albums have expressed real life emotions and situations.

    Two Eleven is definitely her comeback.

    [Reply]

  47. ar

    I do not believe those sales numbers. Lets look at the facts, there are over 12 million black people in the U.S., this is not counting the Brandy fans around the world that brought her album. Now they are trying to tell us that of those 12 million black people, not even 100 thousand brought her album, BUll___. And are they also trying to tell us that her fans in other countries, who brought her album, those sales don’t count,Bull____. I say something’s fishy here.

    [Reply]

  48. sexyblkmale

    Brany album is the best ive heard this year and i love her raspy voiceand she hasnt missed a beat. i listen to this album on spotify and im going out to buy it! We need ti support good music and my opinion beyonce is over rated and always shaking her ass. we need to stop downloading and buy records because brandy can sell 300k in the first week if we truly support our artists, if adele can sell ten million in the us alone so can she! Great job brandy, u got my support!

    [Reply]

  49. Gina

    People don’t recongize real music. Brandy aint a sell out like other singers who get half naked to sell their music.

    [Reply]

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