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”