A Family Business by Brandy and Ray J is a record that attempts to showcase the rich tapestry of the Norwood fam, while giving glances into the vocalics that both singers still have left to exhibit.
The opener, “Family Business” reprises the theme music that echoed from their reality saga that played on VH1. Ray J is solo on “Turnin Me On,” which is one of the gaffes on the album. His vocals sound ungrounded as if he didn’t know what to do with the provided beat. The sweet and tender “Talk To Me,” does make up for the ho-hum qualities of its forbearer as the listener peers into the world of the Norwoods. Their father, gospel singer, Willie Norwood Sr. assists them on the commanding ballad.
Brandy revisits similar ranges from her best-selling albums on “Lifeguard,” which is by far one of the best songs to rise from the soul of the singer in quite some time. “Ready to Roll,” seems to tear a page from Fergie’s “Glamorous” with its vibe, but does not measure to what it appears to mimic. There are several different landscapes presented on A Family Business such as “My Family” performed by Brandy’s daughter, Sy’rai and Rain Smith, the daughter of Brandy’s daughter’s father as well as an appearance from Tasha Scott with the song “Gone.”
A Family Business is across the board in its presentation, taking several different styles and meshing them together. It does a phenomenal job of showing how Brandy and Ray J have grown vocally, but does not satisfy the musical palate that many were looking to receive from a family we’ve come to know and love.
Album Picks: “Talk To Me” & “Lifeguard”
A Family Business receives a PA
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