Do What You Must Do


Alternative/Indie Rock

Experiencing the Michigan band's sophomore album could be compared to looking through an old forgotten box of letters and pictures on a rainy day: Memories and hopes that are simultaneously beautiful and frail soak through the skin as the LP unfolds. Stand-up bass and violin give the group's deconstructed, would-be jangle-rock the timeless feel of a black-and-white photograph, while understated guitar and vocals cut through to the heart of the matter. Computerized loops and samples add a grainy, hazy texture to the mix as voices, sounds, and thoughts collide, making everyone and everything feel near and far away at once.

- Matt Kantor


Two Eleven

October 15, 2012

Contemporary R&B

Brandy could have released another adult contemporary-oriented set, or linked with the dance-pop producers who have boosted many of her fellow artists. Instead, she made a modern R&B album, and it paid off. Two Eleven's most upbeat and commercial song, "Put It Down," became the singer's first Top Five R&B/Hip-Hop single in ten years, and it sticks out on an album dominated by aching ballads and grown slow jams, made with an uncharacteristically large cast of songwriters and producers including Sean Garrett, Mike Will, and Frank Ocean.

- Andy Kellman