This 2005 compilation, remastered and re-released in 2008, brings together 18 of Brandy's biggest hits under one cover. On the strength of her first two albums alone, Brandy became one of the top-selling R&B artists of the 1990s, and the sleek, sexy urban sound of those tracks dominates this set, including "Baby," "I Wanna Be Down," and her smash hit duet with Monica, "The Boy is Mine."
Only a handful of tracks from Brandy's next two albums, FULL MOON and the Timbaland-produced AFRODISIAC, are represented. Given that cuts like "Afrodisiac" and "Who is She 2 U" are among Brandy's best, it's a shame more tunes from these albums weren't included. Nonetheless, it's hard to argue with the quality and generous quantity of THE BEST OF BRANDY, making it the ideal starting point for anyone new to the urban diva's charms.
Among the best of a talented crop of female urban singers that emerged in the mid-1990s, Brandy Norwood soon established herself as a multi-media star. After reaching the top ten with her 1994 self-titled debut album, the singer signed on to star in the hugely popular television show MOESHA, and her second album was recorded during breaks from filming. A soulful vocalist whose mature-sounding early performances belied her young age, Brandy's music made liberal use of modern hip-hop influences while her signing style often recalled vintage R&B. Occasionally dismissed as a lightweight teen idol, Brandy later began working with such superstar producers such as Kanye West and Timbaland, which boosted her credibility. In 2006, Brandy's career suffered a setback when she was involved in a tragic multi-car accident that left one driver dead and several others injured.
Uncut (p.116) - 3 stars out of 5 - "Brandy's kept her R&B career on track in the face of competition..."