Two Eleven (Deluxe Version)
R&B stars now consider Brandy a classic voice in the same way that performers of Brandy’s generation revered Whitney Houston's performances classic. The title of Two Eleven refers to the date of Houston’s passing, which is also Brandy’s birthday. It's representative not only of the cyclical nature of R&B music but of the qualities the two shared: specifically, self-assurance. Brandy no longer needs to compete with the newest young singing sensations, freeing her to make an album like Two Eleven, which focuses almost solely on collaborations with rap producers. Brandy brought out the hypnotic, sensual aspects of productions by Bangladesh, Jim Jonsin, and Mike WiLL Made It, most of whom are better known for working with Lil Wayne and Gucci Mane than with female singers. The album displays an attention to peculiar sound design surely influenced by Brandy’s mentor Timbaland. At the same time, songs like “Wildest Dreams” and “Without You” are open fields, where Brandy's voice is allowed to fly high. It’s a voice that has become a certified symbol of class and quality within the field of modern soul music.