When she first started recording Human Brandy worked with a variety of new producers before reuniting with Rodney Jerkins, her longtime creative partner and mentor. Brandy and Jerkins had not worked together since 2002’s Full Moon and Human finds the pair rekindling their creative chemistry, which is the subject of “Piano Man.” “Finally breathing some clean air,” she sings, “Been through it and seen it / I put my star to fame / Now the spotlight was fading, he just kept on playing...” The rest of the album is a similar mix of fragility and focus. “Camouflage,” “Torn Down,” “Human” and “Shattered Heart” are among the most intense and personal songs Brandy has recorded. “The Definition” is the definitive Jerkins collaboration, a sweet, insistent melody on top of a thumping club rhythm. “True” is the song that best shows the maturity of Brandy’s voice, a poised ballad overseen by RedOne, the songwriting team behind Lady Gaga’s big hits. The hidden gem on Human is surely “A Capella,” a delirious catchy tune that layers dozens of vocal tracks to create a hypnotic atmosphere even without the help of big beats.

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