It’s hard to think of an artist that encapsulates the spirit of R&B, Jazz, and Pop more than singer Brandy Norwood, and it should be no surprise to anyone who reads this review that her much anticipated 7th studio album set to be released July 31st, B7, is one that stands true to that. With 15 solid tracks, Brandy’s hardcore fans are truly in for something uniquely different and unexpected with this much anticipated release.
After listening to this album on repeat for the last week, I must be completely honest, as one of Brandy’s biggest fans, it was met with a decidedly more ambiguous reception than even I expected from myself. This album is a vibe, very reminiscent of what we have come to expect from Brandy, yet so distinctly different then what we are used to. It felt as if I was listening to a new being. Someone with something new to say, wanting to give use a unique musical experience. This album is no ‘Full Moon’ but it certainly peeks with her signature sultry smooth melodic tone. I believe this is the Brandy that she’s always wanted to be and always wanted us to experience. And I am here for all of it. Taking us on a journey of love, life, and learning, B7, gives us a glimpse of who Brandy is creatively.
From beginning to end this album just feels good. And we can certainly feel the spirit of LaShawn “Big Shiz’ Daniels throughout this album helping to deliver vocal production and the signature Brandy sound to the album’s most sultry tracks. Brandy’s vocal arrangements on songs like ‘Rather Be’, ‘Borderline’, and ‘Lucid Dreams’ remind us of the ‘Never Say Never’ vibe Brandy gave us over two decades ago, which was her top selling album. We still get to experience the Brandy we’ve grown to love, just in a new and authentic way.
‘No Tomorrow’, Produced By Joshua “YXSH” Thomas, Cory Rooney, and Brandy Norwood with Co-Production by Darhyl Camper, Jr. and written by Brandy Norwood and Joshua Thomas, has quickly become one of my favorites. The clever vocal arrangements show us that she is proudly embracing who she is as an artist, and the “Vocal Bible”, we have come to admire.
Throughout the album she takes us through her journey of healing and growth, and even moments of being unapologetic about her womanhood and motherhood with songs like her current single, ‘Baby Mama’ featuring Chance the Rapper. There are parts of the album that I wish were a bit more elaborate and developed from a lyrical standpoint, but overall, I have a strong appreciation for the album, and I believe that all Brandy fans will too!
This is truly an album you can listen to from beginning to end. It’s cohesive, and the most honest reflection of who she is as an artist today. She is back and better than ever.
B7 hits stores and all streaming platforms, July 31st.
Kimberly M. Dobine