Brandy doesn't record often. Nobody could accuse her of being prolific, since she released only four albums during the first decade of her music career. She does, however, make each trip to the studio count, and she hasn't only released enough memorable singles to fill out a best-of -- as The Best of Brandy doesn't quite indicate to the fullest extent. The disc is straightforward and rather thorough in its makeup, compiling almost all of Brandy's charting singles. Minor hit "He Is" is left off, as is "Missing You," the Top Ten R&B single from the Set It Off soundtrack, in which the singer shared duties with Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, and Tamia, but neither is terribly missed. Despite the disc's handiness, the representation from each album, when compared to one another, is more than a little deceiving; a combined ten tracks come from 1994's self-titled debut and 1998's Never Say Never, while only four combined tracks are taken from 2002's Full Moon and 2004's Afrodisiac. Though the last two albums evidently didn't produce nearly as many big singles, they're just as strong and fresh as the first two -- so this set, unlike so many other anthologies from her contemporaries, hardly confirms dwindling creativity or popularity. A couple minor surprises: a cover of Michael Jackson's "Rock with You," pulled from Quincy Jones' Q's Jook Joint album (odds are good that many hardcore fans didn't know of its existence), and a remix of "I Wanna Be Down" that features Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, and Yo-Yo.
AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman
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