With a career in entertainment spanning nearly 30 years, multi-talented artist Brandy marks her triumphant return to music in her latest album, B7.
This is Brandy’s seventh studio album, eight years after her previous and is everything we need right now. Nearly three years in the making, this new release showcases Brandy’s signature vocal sound, as well as offering new, rich and complex sound worlds through thoughtful production that enhances her versatile song writing skills.
The level of care and time spent curating this album is evident throughout, especially in the rich, glossy production that is densely textured and possesses an irresistible syrupy, silky quality throughout. Each track segues flawlessly and effortlessly into the next, creating a live concert feel that we all desperately need at the moment with live gigs suspended for the immediate future. The three All My Life transitions dispersed throughout the album open up an ethereal space within the listening experience into an atmospheric layer of sound that is dream-like and ambient. These ASMR-like sensual spaces are contrasted beautifully with densely intimate rich textures, such as those in the opening track Saving All My Love. Here, Brandy offers gorgeous vocals cushioned by distant brass, foregrounding her triumphant return to music.
What is remarkable about many of the tracks on this album is the exploration of broader and new sounds, alongside intimate lyricism and meaningful that takes pride in Brandy’s life and family. This is most brilliantly executed in No Tomorrow, in which the ethereal reverberant production is coupled with cascading vocals and a sharp realness in lines such as “Can you give me a minute? Yeah, real quick while I get me some M&M’s from the 7-Eleven”.
The standout single of the album is undoubtedly Baby Mama featuring Chance the Rapper, which celebrates the strength and power of single mothers. Brandy is clearly a proud mother, as she also duets with her daughter Sy’rai Iman Smith in High Heels. Given the stigma that continues to surround single mothers to this day, it is refreshing to see such a high-profile artist celebrate the power of women and pride for her family so openly and with such joy.
Overall, B7 is a luxurious musical gift with consistency and experimentation working hand in hand to deliver a sensual, momentous experience that shimmers and glistens with thoughtfulness, care and etherealness throughout. If you’re looking to recreate the experience of a live set in isolation, this album might be the next best thing.