Thursday, September 09, 2010

Brandy's Forgotten Gem

Brandy is one of my favourite 90s has beens. Don't get me wrong. She's no Monica or Tamia but songs like "I Wanna Be Down", "Baby" and "Have You Ever?" are guilty pleasures that I still occasionally dig out. Since her late 90s hey day, the diva's output has been fairly hit and miss. 2004's "Afrodisiac" was as shit as the title suggests but I thought 2008's "Human" was a stunning return to form. Unfortunately, no one else agreed and the album became the biggest flop of Brandy's career. It's a pity because the underrated opus houses at least one minor pop masterpiece. Written and produced by Bruno Mars and Darkchild, "Long Distance" is the kind of overwrought (in a good way) ballad that makes me want to listen to early Mariah and air grab for Australia. However, as much as I love the album version, my true allegiance lies with the brilliant Jody Den Broeder remix. This is one of those rare ballads that translates seamlessly into a dance anthem without losing the sentiment that made it special in the first place. "Long Distance" still packs an emotional punch and the lyrics get me every time. I just prefer to be sad to the sound of heavy house beats! File this under 'songs that should have been massive'.

13 comments:

John said...

I'm with you 100% on Human, although
the Moto Blanco mix of "Right Here (Departed)" is right up there, too (it made my top dance tracks of 2008). I really want to see her new album succeed, since a lot of folks have stolen her thunder by working with producers she helped become massive (Darkchild, anyone?). But you nailed it on the assessment of a ballad that turns into a flawless dance track. Right up there with "Unbreak My Heart".

The Prophet said...

Human is incredible but Afrodisiac was amazing too. It wasn't shit, it was the most critically acclaimed album of her career (Glowing reviews from NME, Rolling Stone,EW) and remains a fan favorite.

It also has some of the best songs she's ever done, such as the title track, "I Tried", Focus... The B-sides are incredible too. I own the normal edition of the album but also imported the French one with the bonus songs, they're amazing.

Calen said...

I have to agree with The Prophet, I LOVED Afrodisiac and thought it was amazing. The title track and "I Tried" were my favs. Human really was phenomenal, from open to close, and I hope some day it gets the recognition it deserves. Camouflage, Piano Man, Long Distance, True, 1st & Love, Gonna Find My Love and Locket (Locked In Love) are perfection.

Anonymous said...

great remix!

Mike said...

Ok, I'll give Afrodisiac another try. I just hate Timbaland and Kanye West productions from that era. It all sounds the same and just grates on my ears.

I'm glad "Human" is finding some love though. It's a really good album and "Long Distance" is amazing!

Magical Froggy said...

You hit the nail on the head with this one! I was obsessed with this remix and listening to it over and over on my iPod kept me going on all nighters while writing my thesis. Still annoyed there was never a physical release for this.

Nasty G said...

I agree regarding Afrodisiac. One of her best. I have always been a closet Brandy fan (even though she was hated for 'dissing' Aaliyah back in the day and is also a murderess). But, alas, her has-been status is now cemented, first after being kicked off as a judge on America's Got (No) Talent and now as a contestant on Dancing With The Stars. Seriously? At least she's been paired with Maksim, which on that show makes you their premiere "star". I await her inevitable album as Bran' Nu, her hip hop persona from Timbaland's last album.

Anonymous said...

My favorites from the 'Human' sessions are the two Brian Kennedy tracks.

Locket (Locked in Love) & Fall

Check em out!

bring_back_pop_panel said...

Beautiful!

Thanks for posting :)

Mike said...

LOL @ Bran'Nu! Scarily, it wouldn't surprise me...

And I like those Brian Kennedy tracks too

Ro Ro said...

This was an awesome song. I really loved "Afrodisiac" and "Human". I think she made people mad with that awful "Full Moon" album though killed her career. I never listen to it and dislike almost every song on there. Bur Those other 2 still get alot of play. Seeing u can appreciate some good Brandy makes me worship u even more!

Anonymous said...

Of course she's no Monica or Tamia, She is Way better then them with a much more impressive catalog.

Majority of Brandy's music is timeless because of the vocals, the production and the in depth brilliant Lyrics

Human is a Great album for those emotions, It's really deep and i like that.

Afrodisiac is more gritty but light, She nailed it with that album

Full moon is a classic album, Sassy,very Urban but Pop at the same time. Her best work could be heard on Full moon, With that album she vocally came into her own and created a sound that's praised till this day.

Anonymous said...

U are a fucking hater, who has no clue. No Monica or Tamia, you should have slit your wrist after that comment.