December 2, 2022

Brandy Reminds Us She’s Human

Aside from having an otherworldly voice that can soothe your soul and cause you to melt under the rich velvet texture, Brandy’s 2008 album Human reminds us that she is, in fact, human. Human was released internationally and domestically on December 5, 2008, and March 2009. The ballad and the primarily pop-influenced album was Brandy’s fifth studio album, and it was considered one of the most commercial-sounding albums she’d recorded to date.

Although Human is not often referenced in conversations about the vocal bible, the album was and is a beautiful compilation of songs and sounds that express some of the most peaceful, vulnerable, and introspective emotions a person can have. Human peaked on the Billboard charts on December 26, 2008, at number 5 and spent twenty-one weeks on the charts. The album only yielded two singles: Right Here (Departed) and Long Distance. Right Here peaked at thirty-one domestically on the Billboard Charts and spent six weeks on the Hot list.

The second single Long Distance peaked at twenty-four and spent one week on the chart. Despite the lackluster commercial success, the album would be the catalyst for the vocal bible expressing herself more authentically on her subsequent projects. Brandy had undergone several personal tragedies during the creation and recording of Human. Yet, Human shows that it is the human spirit that, if cultivated and nurtured, can bounce back and continue to push forward, even when life appears to be closing in. Over almost three years, the world has witnessed many life-altering events that have us referring to life “pre and post” pandemic.

The title track, Human, is a beautiful reminder that we are human and need to be more compassionate. Written by Jenny Englishman and Lindy Robbins, the song is highly vulnerable and emotive, and you almost sense her pleading with the listener to take her as she is:

“I’m staring in the mirror, and a stranger’s looking back.
What are you afraid of, girl? The future or the past?
If you wanna see inside of me, all you have to do is ask”

Another stand-out track from the album is a song by RedOne called True, featuring a beautiful piano accompaniment that marries Brandy’s voice seamlessly. True is stripped down and boasts an airiness, giving off a perfect acoustic performance vibe. If Brandy were ever to record a live album, it would be a crime not to place True on the setlist. However, the song that reinforces that the R&B vocal bible can sing anything is Acapella (Something’s Missing).

The song is one of the most unique tracks Brandy has ever recorded that painfully leaves you wanting more Capella-style tracks from her. Brandy’s velvety voice can do no wrong, and with the Human project, she successfully proves its effortlessly. Though Human was primarily slept on outside her die-hard starz, it’s a timeless record that reinforces that being human is natural and that being authentically you is where you are your best self.

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