Brandy Pays Tribute to R&B History, Including Her Own, on 'B7'
Published Jul 30, 2020Brandy returns with B7, her first album in almost eight years, and she's not holding back anymore. In this album, Brandy explores the way we love, whether for ourselves or another. Authenticity is present on this album; she confidently steers her own ship by taking a new approach by writing every song on the album to create something personal. Her maternal instincts are strong on this project, as if she's raising the young girl she debuted as. Brandy was ahead of the curve she shaped herself, having spent the last 30 years perfecting and adapting — now she draws her own lines. She was the moment in the '90s, and now she is the moment in 2020.
The fifteen songs on the album take us on a turbulent trip on the Brandy train, detailing the ups and downs of the past few years of her life, as the concept of love permeates through every track in any way possible, in every interpretation available. "No Tomorrow" smoothly — and slightly nihilistically — celebrates a romance and the immediacy of indulging in infatuation, to reduce regret as if life will cease tomorrow. On "Borderline," Brandy enters a confusing relationship with lots of self-doubt and self-criticism. "High Heels" puts Brandy on her humble high horse, where she's queen of the club, and "Baby Mama" proudly professes her love for her daughter, Sy'rai. Toronto's own Daniel Caesar joins the album on last year's hit "Love Again.".
B7 is meticulous in its references to pop and R&B history, of which Brandy's own career is such an important facet. The album art pays homage to her hero, the late Whitney Houston, and her look from The Bodyguard. The font on the cover also pays tribute to Brandy's own first few albums, as well as her signature braids from that era, while the album also features new contributions by longtime songwriting collaborator LaShawn Daniels, who died last year, and who Brandy credits for helping her open up and listen to her own voice. Brandy has returned to her roots and the aesthetics that helped popularize her. (Brand Nu/Golden Child/eOne)