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  • Tuesday 29 June 2004
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Afrodisiac (2004)

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  Summary  

Afrodisiac is the fourth studio album by American recording artist Brandy Norwood, released by Atlantic Records on June 28, 2004 on most international territories and on June 29, 2004 in Canada and the United States. A departure from her previous work with Rodney Jerkins and his Darkchild camp, Brandy worked with Timbaland and his protégé Walter Millsap III on the majority of the production of the album, featuring additional credits by Warryn Campbell, Organized Noise, Theron Feemster, Big Chuck, and Kanye West.

The album debuted at number three on the U.S. Billboard 200 but had a short run on the charts, resulting into mediocre domestic sales of 416,000 copies and a gold certification by the Recording Industry Association of America . Outside the States, Afrodisiac scored minor success, missing the top thirty on the majority of the charts it appeared on. The critical response to Afrodisiac was generally positive, garnering Brandy her strongest reception yet, with Allmusic comparing it to "Janet Jackson at her best." The following year, it received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Contemporary R&B Album but lost to Usher's Confessions album.

While lead single "Talk About Our Love" reached the top ten in the United Kingdom, later singles failed to score successfully on the popular music charts. In mid-2005, after eleven years with the company Brandy asked for and received a release from Atlantic Records, making Afrodisiac her final studio album on the label.

  Presentation  

content
As with her previous albums thematical prime focus on Afrodisiac is on "relationship with love and life in general." "It's about passion. It's romantic, and that's where I am in my life right now," Brandy noted during promotion touring in 2004, a time when she was engaged to New York Knicks guard Quentin Richardson. "I'm not trying to be edgy, sassy, romantic, vulnerable or whatever emotions come across," she said. "I really am all that." Afrodisiac contains several references to Timbaland and longtime partner Missy Elliott, and alludes to fellow 1990s R&B singers such as Aaliyah and Monica. The album's opening track "Who I Am" discusses her rocky relationship with Robert Smith as well as the progression of her public image, while "I Tried" was heavily inspired by English rock band Coldplay, also incorporating lyrics of their 2000 song "Sparks." The tenth track "Turn It Up" is an homage to the early 1990s with references to Donnie Simpson's Video Soul, Kid n' Play, their 1990 film House Party and Tony! Toni! Toné!'s 1996 studio album House of Music. The line "'Cause I don't wanna sound familiar, want a guaranteed single, not an album filler" levels indirect criticism at former main producer Rodney Jerkins. On ending track "Should I Go," which samples Coldplay's "Clocks," Brandy openly talks about contemplating stepping away from the music business, admitting that she's trying to figure out where she fits in today.

Although Norwood received a sole writing credit on album cut "Finally" only, she noted Afrodisiac the most honest effort of her career yet based on its deeply autobiographical content, commenting: "Everything I do has something to do with what I've gone through in my life I definitely wanted to incorporate that in my art. It makes it more real when you add what's been going on in your life in your music. I've grown and I've gone through some things in my life, and I celebrate that, I honor that." Soundwise, her collaboration with Timbaland, recent motherhood, life experiences, and growing affinity toward alternative music such as Coldplay, caused Brandy to shift toward a more matured outlook and raw nature with the album, a venture into the organic sounds of soul blues and the nostalgic street-wise sound of 1990’s hip-hop.

production
  • Executive producers: Kyambo Joshua, Craig Kallman, Brandy Norwood, Gee Roberson
  • Vocal producers: Brandy Norwood, Kenny Hicks
  • Vocal assistance: Jo Ann Campbell, Steve "Static" Garrett, Tim Mosley, Kenisha Pratt, Kenneth Pratt
  • Engineers: Bruce Beuchner, Sean Davis, Jimmy Douglas, Blake English, Jun Ishizeki, Cha Cha Jones, Eugene Toale
  • Assistant engineers: Demacio Castellon, Ricky Chao, Jermeal Hicks, Halsey Quemere
  • Mixing: Jimmy Douglass, Dave Lopez, Manny Marroquin, Peter Mokran, Tim "Timbaland" Mosley
  • Mastering: Brian Gardner, Chris Gehringer
  • A&R: Kyambo Joshua & Geroid Roberson
  • Design: Julian Peploe
  • Art Direction: Liz Barrett
  • Photography: Roger Ericson

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  Tracklist   

Standard edition
# Name Artist Live Acoustic Hidden Duration
1-1 Who I Am Brandy       03:35
1-2 Afrodisiac Brandy       03:47
1-3 Who Is She 2 U Brandy       04:43
1-4 Talk About Our Love Brandy       03:34
1-5 I Tried Brandy       04:45
1-6 Where You Wanna Be Brandy       03:32
1-7 Focus Brandy       04:07
1-8 Sadiddy Brandy       04:00
1-9 Turn It Up Brandy       04:12
1-10 Necessary Brandy       03:59
1-11 Say You Will Brandy       03:50
1-12 Come As You Are Brandy       03:44
1-13 Finally Brandy       03:53
1-14 How I Feel Brandy       04:41
1-15 Should I Go Brandy       04:56

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  Sources

Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Afrodisiac", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.