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Picks and Pans Review: Brandy

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Fifteen seems to be a hot number these days. First, 15-year-old Aaliyah (who claimed to be 18 when she recently married her Svengali producer R. Kelly) hit the Top 10 of the pop and R&B charts. Now Brandy, also 15, is headed in the same direction. But while everything about Aaliyah screams here-and-now, Brandy’s well-groomed blend of gently lilting hip hop and pop-soul has a more timeless appeal. With the poise and sassy confidence of a diva twice her age, Brandy mixes her love songs with tributes to her little brother (“Best Friend”), God (“Give Me You”), the perfect man (“Baby”) and older crooners like Aretha and Whitney (“I Dedicate”). While this isn’t groundbreaking stuff, Brandy has the pipes to become more than the latest teenage next-big-thing. (Atlantic)