Op-Ed Exclusive: “B7” Welcome Back, Brandy

Big B, and the B stands for Bravo! I had the opportunity to review Grammy Award Winning Artist Brandy’s highly anticipated 7th album “B7”, her first album in 8 years album released under her label Brand Nu, distributed by Entertainment One. She was only 18 when we were first introduced to her saccharine and steady vocals on “I wanna be down”, from her self- titled “Brandy” album. Since then, we have watched her evolution from “The Boy is Mine” to “Moesha” marveling at her melanin and emulating her microbraids with baby hair. Now a 41-year old refined woman, her experience in life, love, and everything in-between is evident on her newest work of art, B7.  Highlighting that the number 7 is symbolic for completion and perfection. “I bare it all on this album,” she says of B7. “I really don’t hold back anything.”

 

Photo Courtesy of Brand Nu.

“Because this was such a personal project for me, I wanted to make sure the music was right and the best for me—and it took a minute,” she says. “I was trying to find my sound … and get to a place where I could express myself as honestly as I could creatively.” – Brandy

The 1st track, “Saving All My Love” serves as a melodically apologetic explanation to her fans (Sorry for the tardy, I was broken hearted). From there B7 flows into a blend of soulful story telling and transparency.  “I’ve been here before…” she sings in “Lucid Dreams” ; a tale of chasing sleep despite tragedy and grief, her voice sways sensually and seamlessly into her favorite song on the album “Borderline” (my favorite song on the album too). The hook, “I’m on the borderline…. Don’t wanna be skitzo this time” speaks to the fragility felt in every budding relationship. Setting preliminary boundaries and emphasizing consequences to avoid re-living the trauma felt from betrayal in past relationships.

“When it comes to love, and my experience, I haven’t experienced love at its best yet in my life, except for when I started to truly love myself” she disclosed. B7 moved forward esteeming and empowering with “High Heels” featuring Brandy’s only child, Sy’rai, who also co-wrote the song. Throughout the album, Brandy toys with techno undertones without losing her iconic sultriness bending her voice to each track, even doing some rapping. Although the album is met with mild moments of mediocrity, it never lacks enticement.  B7 also features Chance the Rapper on “Baby Mama”, an anthem dedicated to eliminating the stigma behind an often negatively connotative title.

Although some consider B7 a reintroduction of Brandy to the limelight, it features “Love Again”, the hit duet between Brandy and Daniel Caesar. Originally released in 2019, it adds a warm reminder that the legendary R&B singer and actress was never short of relevant. The 15-track project was partly co-produced by DJ Camper (H.E.R, Tamar Braxton) and an intimate yet transcendent team of writers and producers. The boldness pays homage to the advice of the late Lashawn “Big Shiz” Daniels, who encouraged Brandy to embrace her flaws and fears in the uniqueness of her voice.

“I’m no longer trapped in my story, or my own agony. All of the experiences I sing about on this album, are no longer a part of me in the way they once were. I feel like I went through all of the things I went through to sing the songs that are on this album “

B7 is a vibe, a Saturday morning groove that you can burn candles or sage to. A nod that it is never too late to elevate and evolve; time is a construct and true artistry is never elusive. B7 was released on all platforms on July 31st.

Interview Courtesy of Brand Nu.

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