Brandy & Ray J 'A Family Business'
When you have a musically talented family like the Norwood's, all being highly regarded in their own field of music respectfully, you would wonder why they haven't made an album together until now. Well, for R&B star Brandy, rapper Ray J, Gospel singer Willie and manager/mother Sonja, it took a reality TV show for them to knuckle down and pen a album full of tracks. An album that does have it's highs and couple of lows.
The opening track is the theme song of the actual TV show entitled appropriately Family Business. Dodging some suspect lyrics, the song lets you into what the family is capable of as a unit. Though this trend is not taken throughout the album as only the single taken from the record Talk To Me features near enough the whole family. The rest of the songs have either the family members on their own or have a family friend accompanying them. Not that these songs make the album worse, it does give the record a bit of variety as it drives you through different avenues in the music scene. The Brandy tracks ‘Lifeguard’ and ‘I Don’t Care’ are a gentle reminder to the music world that the R&B star still has her sparkle. Ray J is a star in his own right and the clubbiest song on the record ‘Turnin’ Me On’ highlights this. Fans of the brother and sister will also get to hear their father in action (if they already haven’t managed to). Listening to his powerful soulful voice on the love song for his wife ‘Sonja, Sonya, Sonia’ is know wonder his offspring because big pop stars as the master taught them everything he knows in the music scene.
Guest appearances fall from actress Tasha Scott for the song ‘Gone’ and Brandy’s kids Sy’Rai & Rain Smith in the cute baby esque ‘My Family’. Perhaps what the album is about brought these tracks into existence, unfortunately they don’t really help The Family Business’s cause as a credible record. Reiterating the point the family themselves are talented and that is why they have managed to be around in the public eye for so many years, it is just maybe it’s a bit too soon to get the kids involved.
Nonetheless, if you love the show and you are fans of any of the family members, this is a definite must have. An enjoyable record to listen to in all walks of life that can be forgiven for it’s few let downs.
MOBO gives this record a respectable 4 M’s out of 5.
Brand & Ray J: A Family Business is out now
Words by: Dean Woodhouse