Put It Down
Label: Chameleon Entertainment/RCA Records
Brandy's comeback after years of tabloid hell has some of the best beats of her career. With help from producers like Major Lazer's Switch ("Slower") and Bangladesh ("So Sick" and the Chris Brown-assisted "Put It Down"), she makes songs that evoke both futurist neo-wave and classic girl-group R&B, while weaving an effortless vocal performance around her smooth, bird-like trills. Two Eleven's weak spots are its lyrics, which range from the clumsy chorus of "Do You Know What You Have" to the overwrought theme "Scared of Beautiful." But with music this fantastic, you'll hardly notice.