TGJ Replay: Brandy’s ‘Afrodisiac’

Published: Tuesday 4th Feb 2014 by Rashad

After a lengthy break on the bench, ‘TGJ Replay’ is back!

Designed much like our ‘Retro Rewind’ and ‘From the Vault’ segments, ‘Replay’ is That Grape Juice‘s newest retrospective quest to re-spin the gems and jams of yesterday.

Unlike its ‘Rewind’ and ‘Vault’ predecessors, ‘Replay’ looks to dust off and showcase entire albums (and eras) from a library of pop and Urban pop music hits.  With the ten year mark swiftly approaching since its release, today’s ‘Replay’ goes back to ‘Afrodisiac’ – R&B beauty Brandy‘s 4th studio album:

The declaration that was 2002’s ‘Full Moon’ acted as the official introduction of the “new” Brandy to music lovers. Showcasing a progressive fusion of dark Urban pop and sensual R&B accented by her now signature vocal layering, dark timbre, and delicious melisma, the metamorphosis from teen pop star to mature R&B maven was undoubtedly birthed with ‘Moon’ and its hits ‘What About Us’, ‘He Is’, and more.

Usherin in a series of high notes in the singer’s life, the platinum-selling era also documented another new birth – that of daughter Sy’Rai.

With motherhood and maturity in tow, Brandy thought and sought to bring her evolution to record and began the process of delivering her fourth studio effort.  Ousting longtime collaborator Rodney Jerkins as conductor on the production tip due to “creative differences”, Brandy enlisted Timbaland to direct the project and help craft an innovative sound different from her previous offerings – a feat she claimed Jerkins was not performing.   What B-Rocka and Timbo would create, possibly unbeknownst to them, would be the modern Urban pop masterpiece christened ‘Afrodisiac’.




By moniker alone, the album signaled what would be the strongest demonstration yet of the R&B veteran’s journey into womanhood.  For, in addition to venturing into unfamiliar sonic territory, ‘Afrodisiac’ – with tunes like ‘Should I Go’, ‘I Tried’, and ‘Who I Am’ – tackled themes of sexuality, pride, love, and her personal life in ways none of her previous three efforts dared.  Kicked off by the Kanye West-produced ‘Talk About Our Love’

‘Talk About Our Love’

The song’s accompanying video acted as one of the first visual representations of the direction B-Rocka was headed. Showcasing her transition from sweet and bubbly teen pop princess to dark Urban pop vixen, “Talk” garnered much of just that as fans and critics alike offered their warm greetings.  Praising the number for its development of her personal sound as well as its risk to steer away from the ‘Crunk N B’ heat of the day, the song’s acclaim helped hoist it to top 40 rankings where it peaked at #36.

Even with high anticipation to boot, the aforementioned peak would mark what would then be her lowest peaking lead single. The singer took to the promotional trail to remedy and build buzz.

‘Talk About Our Love’ (live)

With features from West, Timbaland, and then up-and-coming rapper T.I., ‘Afrodisiac’ would stand as the singer’s most adventurous album to date.  A notable departure in look, sound, and feel, the era was decorated with a number of peeks at the performer like none before.  Some of which found themselves lined with controversy, an association unfamiliar to the diva at that time.

Remember that Vibe cover?

Nevertheless, fans were drawn to ‘Afrodisiac’ – a feat evidenced by its #3 debut on Billboard 200.  It’s tenure there may have been brief, but it was enough to warrant attention from critics who lauded it her “best work yet” and even drawing comparisons to Janet Jackson‘s famed self-titled album.

‘Who Is She 2 U’
‘Who Is She 2 U’ (live)

As only three singles were lifted from its ever-talented tracklist, the album would soon slide off charts – lost amidst the fray of the Crunk N’ B top-sellers of the day.  Eventually going on to claim Gold status, the album would also earn a 2005 Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary R&B Album , but lost to her ‘Who Is She 2 U (remix)’ co-star Usher.

“Who I Am”

Dare we say it, ‘Afrodisiac’ still ranks as our favorite Brandy album (with ‘Two Eleven’ following as a close 2nd).  Since its release and subsequent commercial performance, the singer has publicly shunned the album and even listed as her least favorite.  Citing its direction as being “out of touch” with the sonic trails she wanted to blaze, ‘Afro’ would also mark her last project with longtime label home Atlantic Records.

2004-2007 would prove trying times for B-Rocka, but she has since rebuilt her public profile and regained ranks as one of R&B’s frontrunners.  While we anxiously await the follow-up to her critically acclaimed 2012 project ‘Two Eleven’, we can’t help but wish she would revisit some of the themes that decorate ‘Afrodisiac’.

Look below for our favorite from that modern R&B masterpiece and tell us yours:

“Come As You Are” (TGJ Favorite)


Your thoughts?

Posted under:

Comments 55

Please Post Your Comments & Reviews

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Molly February 4, 2014

    Never listened to the full album but i did like the singles Who is she to you and Afrodisiac

  2. THE BEYHIVE February 4, 2014


  3. Brandy Starr February 4, 2014

    OMG absolute classic.

  4. Calling all hearts February 4, 2014

    She looks horrible on that vibe cover.

  5. Music Stan ( ya’ll know who I stan for) February 4, 2014

    The General Public slept on this album… I like it cause it was showcasing that she was not a perfect angel that everyone expect her to be…. I love this album

  6. kweli69j February 4, 2014

    Classic album!! Faves are say you will & I tried

  7. Can’t remeber yonce February 4, 2014

    Classic album !!!!

  8. Super Cisus February 4, 2014


  9. who is ciara? February 4, 2014

    my name tho ^^^^

  10. ASIPOFBRANDY February 4, 2014

    one word,CLASSIC!!!! oh, and haters please do me and B’Rocka a favor and choke ya selvez!

  11. RoyalKev February 4, 2014

    This is my 5th favorite Brandy album (1Full Moon, 2NSN, 3Two Eleven, 4Brandy, 5Afrodisiac, 6Human – my 2nd and 3rd picks are extremely close in quality). Afrodisiac placing 5th may seem like a low ranking, but it doesn’t matter because Bran’s albums are ALWAYS perfection! I can’t grade any of them lower than an 8(from 1 to 10)! She’s really an amazing album’s artist.

    Talk About Our Love
    Where You Wanna Be
    I Tried
    Who I Am

    … What ya’ll know about Brocka?! This album has been slaying me since 2004! She’s really be underrated for the last 10 years. 🙁 …She’s still a super Icon! She made her mark and real music lovers appreciate what she still brings to the table.

    Btw, Bran was full of fire in her live performances during that era!

  12. NAVY NICK February 4, 2014

    AMAZING CLASSIC OUTSTANDING ALBUM! SOOOO UNDER-RATED!!!!! LOVE THIS WOMAN, AND THIS CD WAS EVERYTHING, I put so many people on to it, they were like: DAMMMNN BRANDY!! I know, all her stuff is EPIC (2 me)….

  13. RoyalKev February 4, 2014

    * been underrated

  14. NAVY NICK February 4, 2014


  15. Super Cisus February 4, 2014

    Ciara is still relevant unlike brandy who only had 40 people at her show kii b**** bye

  16. Emerald February 4, 2014

    I agree Brandy’s best album with Two Eleven and never say never following behind. The Videos for this album messed her at that time, I think she was trying to be too s*** and compete with Beyoncé who had just had huge success with her s*** videos. I still have this album in rotation, I love Brandy!!

  17. who is ciara? February 4, 2014

    ciara is far from relevant. keep dreaming. u cierror stans should be banned for your delusion

  18. Molly February 4, 2014

    Brandy has never be cute to me. and shes an overrated vocalist. @SuperCisus

  19. Molly February 4, 2014

    Ciara more relevant then brandy tho when was brandy last hit?

  20. Trace February 4, 2014

    Adrodisiac was just a phenomenal album!
    2004 was such a great period for music period!
    I remember every word to every song,every key change in music,and the feeling of being satisfied to completion musically. Very few albums in the following decade later give you that feeling. My physical copy of the album finally broke in 2011. This album is just a testament to where R&B could’ve gone. I may give brandy a lot of s***, but this album and full moon are truly her greatest achievements from an artistry perspective.


    now playing..” How I Feel” 😀

  21. who is ciara? February 4, 2014

    The cierror stans are like cancer on this site. they are the reason cierror gets drag. talking about a grammy and platinum album from ten f***** years ago. what a joke

  22. Molly February 4, 2014

    ^^ Everyone wants the Epic C Squads attention awwww.

  23. Mark111 February 4, 2014

    Two years ahead of it’s time. 2004 was all about the south and crunk music (hint, Yeah, Goodies, Freak A Leak and other rap songs that I can’t remember). I like Afrodisiac the single, I don’t know why they didn’t release the video. Hard to believe that A girl name Ciara would come along and set the next gen girls (Terria Marrie, Rihanna and Tyra) But we all know who stayed on top.

  24. music February 4, 2014

    @Who is Ciara Yeah and that Grammy They talk about was from MISSY ELLIOTS VIDEO TOO. LOL. Not even her own music or videos

  25. CIARA ARMY STAN February 4, 2014

    Classic album!

  26. Can’t remeber yonce February 4, 2014

    Why do you guys pay Ciara fans any mind? Ciara real core fans left her years ago when she became a stuck u b**** running around Hollywood. Now that she’s a flop and came back to reality she’s a wholesome southern peace maker. Ciara is done ! I wish the navy & beehive stop giving them life. They can’t even come together & get Ciara pass the 200k mark! After 7 years

  27. music February 4, 2014

    Super cisus lol your dulusion is so real. Ciara is far from relevant. some people shade 1 or two artist you shade every artist on this site. is there any other singer out there you like besides Ciara?

  28. Pretty_ty February 4, 2014

    Ciara stans coming for the iconic Brandy Rayana Norwood? Why am I not surprised? Ciara has made no impact on the industry with her trashy, throwaway music and weak vocals. Oh yeah btw, Brandy is one of your faves favorite singers so I would stfu if I were you. Brandy > 30 million albums; Ciara – 4.5 million. Goodbye!

    Afro is my second fav brandy album, tied with NSN! Although the album went gold it was criminally underrated!! My favs are WIS2U, TAOL, I tried, Focus and Necessary!!!

  29. Christian Pop Expert February 4, 2014

    Brandy, Brandy, Brandy… she just tries too hard ever since Human. The self-titled debut had impact. Wanna Be Down, Baby, and even Broken Hearted and Best Friend are 90’s classics. They were sonically fresh and hip like so much Good music from that time. Never Say Never was an excellent album. Memorable, well produced, and it stands the test of time. Full Moon was also a good album. Had more filled than it needed, but still sounded fresh and turned out to be quite influential to many. It seems Afrodisiac was the start of the decline. Weaker material. Obvious wannabe-ism. I like Brandy but it’s hard to respect the inauthenticity – such as pretending to be married. That came back to bite her. Though, in fairness, stars lie all the time and always have in the name of their image. That fatal car accident didn’t help matters. But mostly, what’s to blame is the lack of Hot muzak. Had she brought that, her relevancy could’ve continued, but she did not have it anymore.

  30. Christian Pop Expert February 4, 2014

    Full moon had more filler* than it needed.

  31. Pretty_ty February 4, 2014

    Christian: but her music is always good, she just hasn’t a signature style and doesn’t follow trends. Two Eleven was her trendiest album. Her problem is promotion and singles. Neither she or her team goes hard enough to keep her name out there. A lot of artists make hot music, but you forget about it two or three weeks later. ALL of Brandys albums are classics and relevant today. Only a handful of artists imo have timeless albums and Brandy is one of them!!

  32. Pretty_ty February 4, 2014

    Just has a signature style**

  33. Christian Pop Expert February 4, 2014

    And I must admit I had a good laugh at that whole empty stadium in Africa fiasco. It was not her fault as, obviously, someone completely dropped the ball in promoting it/letting the crowd know there would be a performance. But still, that was quite funny. >Ouch<

  34. music February 4, 2014

    Brandy has 3 platinum albums, and 1 Gold album (this album), plus her flops still sold more than Ciara’s flops.

    Human: 214k
    Basic instinct: 116k

    Two Eleven: 180k
    Ciara: 133k

    Also Afrodisiac was considered a flop in 2004 standards It was considered Brandys first flop, but it still got a Gold certification with 417k sold, and it also sold more than Ciara’s first flop (fantasy ride 190k). ciara stnas need to have a seat.

  35. NOTSUOH February 4, 2014

    HOW I FEEL!!!!! BEST SONG ! you guys don’t have it on the list.This was a very well written article of Afrodisiac. This is my least favorite Brandy album, but it does have some really dope songs. it just wasn’t Brandy. It was someone they forced her to be.

  36. Christian Pop Expert February 4, 2014


    Yeah , I hear that. Though at this point in her career, it seems the best route for her would be to make music that’s honest and true to herself, and not follow/chase desperately after trends. People may respond positively to the results. As far as her glory days, they are over.

  37. Pour It Up February 4, 2014

    Dead Flopara stans stay getting dragged.

  38. Fly like a bird February 4, 2014

    Brandy does stay true to herself arms that’s why she’s been struggling for so long. In order for you to be successful these days you have to make simple music. Her music has a lot of layers, harmonies and runs which isn’t appealing to the masses. Her music was simple in the 90s and that’s why Put It Down was a hit because it was simple. She does not desperately chase trends. What are you talking about?

  39. C-mo February 4, 2014

    This album was/is definitely my favorite Brandy album. It was so experimental and it reminded me of the direction Aaliyah might have continued to go if she were still alive. Brandy’s vocals are sick throughout (as always). It literally put me on Coldplay and I continue to rock with them since I heard this album. To me this is Brandy in her peak. I wish she would have stayed in this lane. It seems to be wear Miguel and Drake are right now sonically. This album was definitely a trend setter and ahead of it’s time at the same time. The Brandy and Timbo combo definitely should come back around. It really felt she put everything out there with this one.
    Idk if it was because of her divorce or the drama that surrounded that she wasn’t “really married” but this album got overshadowed by all that and I hope people take another listen.

  40. Christian Pop Expert February 4, 2014

    Put it down. Seemed like trend chasing to me. Maybe her music is true to who she is. I haven’t really checked for her since Talk About Our Love came out and I thought it was weak. Kanye did her no favors there. And having him as a producer could be said to have been chasing trend.

  41. Fly like a bird February 4, 2014

    Kanye was not the “trend” at that time. He was a successful rapper but the trend in 2004 was crunk. You can’t make those type of statements if you haven’t listened to her in 10 years. That’s kinda silly to me. Revisit her discography then form an opinion. 🙂

  42. Christian Pop Expert February 4, 2014

    Actually, Kanye West was a popular producer of that moment, brought in to produce not-worthy tracks for Janet Jackson on Damita Jo and a gang of other artists. I think it’s clear that he flourished as a solo artist much more so than a producer for others.

  43. Christian Pop Expert February 4, 2014

    Also, it is not as if music can only have one trend at a time.

  44. Fly like a bird February 4, 2014

    But who were getting the hits at the time? Ciara, Lil Jon, Usher, Ludacris, Brooke Valentine…crunk music. I don’t even remember the songs Kanye did for Janet. If Brandy were really desperate she could’ve easily gotten a generic crunk song to top the charts lol.

  45. Fly like a bird February 4, 2014

    Timbaland and Kanye wanted to work with Brandy after she parted ways with Darkchild. Her and Darkchild reunited for Human (awesome album btw–especially the title track), then she worked with Rico Love, Danja, Mike Will and some lesser known producers for Two Eleven. It was one of her most commercial efforts but it damn sure wasn’t desperate. Like I said, Brandy doesn’t make simple music anymore. She’s been doing intricate stuff since Full Moon. Stuff that the untrained ear simply will not care for. Combine that with a lack of promo & consistency and you have a commercial failure. I suggest you revisit her catalogue post Full Moon. You will not be disappointed.

  46. Christian Pop Expert February 4, 2014

    Possibly.. okay… fair enough. I like the song Fly Like A Bird 🙂

  47. Fly like a bird February 4, 2014

    Me too. It’s one of my favorite Mimi songs. It has gotten me through a lot 🙂

  48. Ju don’t kn February 4, 2014

    I was just listening to some of the songs off this album a couple days ago. A friggen classic CD.

  49. LittleJohnny February 4, 2014

    Where is “How I Feel” on that list? That’s my freaking song. Brandy killed that song kindly.

  50. Boss February 4, 2014

    Brandy’s second best album after Never Say Never. This album was the s***.

  51. Love February 5, 2014

    Her body of work is purely INSANE. She is such a gem in this industry. Brandy, girl you are the queen of queens. You’re gifted–always know that! These naysayers are liars. Why listen to Les Miserables? If I had her voice, tone, and ear for music…man! Lol!

  52. ENOUGH ONIKA (NEW & IMPROVED) February 5, 2014

    I love Brandy! While this wasn’t my favorite album (Full Moon followed by Never Say Never), she still killed it! But I must say, Brandy was sickly thin back then…Glad she got her weight issue under control and now has a healthy weight.

  53. bravo!!! February 5, 2014

    “Where you wanna be,” featuring T.i should have been the next release of “Afrodisiac, but Brandy one of the few artist who will give you a good album.

  54. bravo!!! February 5, 2014

    I can say, “every album Brandy release is great.”

  55. 4everShelton February 5, 2014

    man sometimes i feel like when Brandy goes into the booth she just spits and creates Out of this world music but when the product is done its always ahead of its time!

    like full moon wouldve came out like in 2010-2011 when david guetta came over with the pop euro sound… and this the realll of it all!!! I wouldve made full moon a combo pack with human…. Bc Human was that f***** album but too early!! Huhhhh damn Musical universe keep shading my n**** B!

    then 2008 afrodisiac wouldve come out.. at that time music was on its when anthem type s*** with( live your life, take a bow, no air, touch my body, if i was a boy, heaven sent) ya know so she couldve done well with this album.. never the less #aclassic

    Lastly, #211 that album was brillaint, pushing yo voice to new vocal standards (that E6 you slayyed earlier this year) but it scared me bc though the productions was great and you finally step from behind the production and let ya voice shine! #welldone but this album was very the era it came out and i didnt like that! but i realize what it is!! ya voice is getting bigger and is ready to change the game musically again and now you need producers to step it the f*** up! her monstrous voice is growing and now the producers need to evolve…. maybe bran needs to go overseas and see what they can do just to see what it would sound like, release a cut and if its cute, GOOO EAT THEM UP B!!

Recommended Posts