Ashanti Releases fifth studio album “Braveheart”

Ashanti is back and better than ever. In her fifth studio album, released on her own label Written Entertainment, Ashanti states her claim that she is a “braveheart” and that even if you counted her out it’s okay, because she is ready and back for more!

Ashanti poses for album art for Braveheart
Ashanti poses for album art for Braveheart

It’s been a long six years since the last time we got an album from the R&B Princess Ashanti. Now she is back with one of the best albums she has ever put together and you now have the chance to find out about the songs I’ve been listening to all day.

Let’s start at the beginning of the album shall we…

This intro has to be one of my favorite intros that Ashanti has ever recorded. This is her fifth studio album and each one has an intro and this is the best one by far.

Not to mention that transition into the first track, the title track “Braveheart” is perfect. The song is truly a testament to where Ashanti is in life and what she is trying to say with this album.

Let’s talk for a moment about how Ashanti’s vocals seem to just be so flawless this time around. This isn’t a shocker because she has always had a great range and a beautiful ability, but I feel that it was sometimes stifled in her previous studio efforts.

Braveheart truly comes at you hard and shows that Ashanti is back with avenges and I see big things in her future now that  she has spread her wings and started her own label and is releasing her own music.

I’m very excited to hear more after this album. Until then let’s get to the music.

The Highlights:

Ashanti's "Braveheart" is her first album since 2008.
Ashanti’s “Braveheart” is her first album since 2008.

Of the 13 tracks on the standard edition of the album there are 9 songs in particular that really stood out to me and really showed to be great contributors to the album as a whole.

As I said above the intro was perfect, but what was even more perfect was the outro song (But before we jump to the end let’s look at some of the other songs that get us there.)

Nowhere: The second track of the album is a resemblance of previous Ashanti songs with more maturity. The R&B song is about being there for someone that you love and never having to worry about you leaving.

I rather enjoyed this song. It has a beat that you can vibe with, vocals that are alright (nothing too trying) but I think what really drew me to the song was the lyrics.

“I ain’t going nowhere, you ain’t gotta worry, ain’t nobody perfect, but what we got is perfect.”

This song is cute and has elements that resemble the 90’s R&B from singers such as Lauren Hill. This was definitely a highlight and it was great at keeping a steady flow right after the intro.

Ashanti at the 2014 Grammy's in February
Ashanti at the 2014 Grammy’s in February

Love Game (Ft. Jeremih): The sensual duet just captivated me from the first note all the way to the end. It features singer Jeremih who is famous for his hits “Birthday Sex,” “Raindrops,” and “Down on Me.”

The song is definitely an R&B slow song that seems to mirror the feel and tone as “Birthday Sex.” The two put together prove to be a sexual force to be reckoned with.

Vocally they mix well together and they are both bringing the attitude and swag that it takes to carry the songs mood. This song works very well and I could see this doing very well on radio play.

Scars: Now this song isn’t the most spectacular song on the album, but I wanted to point out this track because of the lyrics. I think the song is very relatable, but lacked a certain quality to really be memorable. Yet I do love the opening verse.

Ashanti said 2014 was going to be her year.
Ashanti said 2014 was going to be her year.

“Yeah he’s a walking, talking living regret. I wish I never met him, never slept with him, never ended up by myself.”

But after that it seems to kind of fall off, but it’s very nice and I could see someone enjoying this track.

Never Should Have: My only problem with this is placement on the album. I don’t like that it follows “Scars” because I promise you they just seem like the same thing and why are we listening to the same message twice in a row?

With the exception of that this song is my second favorite song on the album.Very poetic, very moving and beautiful vocals. This song has to be one of the most challenging of songs that you hear up to this point and Ashanti does so great at it.

I will say that Ashanti is great at making and choosing her singles wisely. This song doesn’t really sound like anything else on the album, but she knew it would work in a mainstream situation.

So This Leads Us to the Best Section of the Album:

Ashanti possess the sass, attitude, sex appeal, and voice to be the next R&B diva.
Ashanti possess the sass, attitude, sex appeal, and voice to be the next R&B diva.

She Can’t: Ashanti definitely brings an infusion of pop into this song and has more than enough attitude to make you love everything about this song, at least to me.

There is just something about Ashanti that makes it work when she does songs such as this one. “She Can’t” is essentially Ashanti telling this guy that his new girl ain’t nothing like her so it doesn’t even matter, because she ain’t Ashanti.

My favorite part of the song is the break down and I think that just sealed the fate of me loving this song. Ashanti definitely did her thing on this song and it definitely is top 5 best packaged songs on the album. This is a new sound, but it works very well for her.

Ashanti in her "I Got It" video shoot.
Ashanti in her “I Got It” video shoot.

Don’t Tell Me No: This song follows the Hip-Pop feel of “She Can’t.” This song is fun, and has a great driving beat along with some nice lyrics.

While it isn’t an upbeat sassy anthem this song is a cute song about longing to be with someone who you loved, but didn’t work out with.

All I hear when I hear this song is single material. This song is the direction Ashanti needs to take more of her music. This new sound she experiments with at the end of this album is the best sound she could ever put out.

I Got It: This song was the second official single off the album and I already covered this song and video in a previous post so be sure to

WATCH THE “I GOT IT” VIDEO HERE!

The Best Song of the ENTIRE ALBUM:

First Real Love (Ft. Beenie Man): I have literally had this song on repeat from the first time I heard it. I really like this fusion that many artist are making with reggae and island type music.

First Real Love is the best song on Ashanti's Braveheart Album.
First Real Love is the best song on Ashanti’s Braveheart Album.

Other artist have done this and been very great at it such as Nicki Minaj and Rihanna. The point I’m trying to make is that this was the best possible way to end an album.

The song is fun, upbeat, has really pretty lyrics, amazing vocals and it’s the type of song you could dedicate to someone and yet dance around in your room (or club) when it comes in.

This song is the song that I see the most promise with. This needs to be a single because I enjoyed this song more than any other on the album. I knew that I was going to love it before the second verse even cut in.

I love the fact that the sound is fresh, unique and yet it still is familiar. It isn’t something too outrageous and it is so well constructed. Ashanti completely blows me away with her vocals here and I could see a great video.

This track is the way you are supposed to end an album. The Outro that follows is well constructed as well and I believe it’s a great sum up of the album. It leaves you hype and wanting more which is great.

Unfortunately There Were some Flops:

While there were many highlights on the album there were a few songs that seemed to lack the steam to really stand out to me. I’m not saying this songs weren’t good, I’m just saying that after a few times through they didn’t speak to me as much as the others.

Runaway: Brings us to a harder R&B feel that kind of reminds me of the 90’s Mary J Blige. Ashanti really belts in this song and it sounds beautiful. From the high notes to the runs I like the way she delivers this song, but it doesn’t stand out in any specific way nor does it seem as different and exciting as her other songs.

Ashanti back in 2008 at her "The Declaration" photo shoot.
Ashanti back in 2008 at her “The Declaration” photo shoot.

Count: This song was a bit confusing to me. I wasn’t quite sure why Ashanti placed this song on the album. The beat is fun and I could see this song playing in a club, but I’m still not sure what the song is actually about. All I know is that she says “Don’t make me count.” Maybe I need a deeper analysis, but at the moment it just seems shallow (Lyrically) and a bit off.

Early in the Morning (Ft. Future): This song features a lot of elements that are used by such artist as Tinashe, The Weeknd and of course Future. The beat is nice and the flow works very well, but I don’t think this fit the feel of the rest of the album. It is very sensual and has a strong presence, but once again feels off to me. Yet it isn’t a bad song at all.

3 Words: Now I have to be honest at the risk of sounding  too harsh, but this song was just straight up boring. I don’t expect to like every song on an album and I feel like this song was my least favorite. After “Early in the Morning” I felt like this was the same thing all over again. It is pretty, vocally nice and has a great beat, but I’m just like okay I’m over it after being only a minute and a half.

But All in All:

Get Braveheart on Itunes now!
Get Braveheart on Itunes now!

Braveheart has proved to be Ashanti’s best effort and I see very promising things for the album. I love the new feel along with the same things that made us fall in love with the singer.

We get the best of pop, island, R&B and Hip Hop in one album and I liked it. It was an enjoyable listen and like I said the ending left me wanting more.

Ashanti does a great job at opening and presenting the world of her album and does an AWESOME job at closing it. She knows she did great on the album and I ain’t mad.

There is also a Deluxe Edition available and a Target special Edition both with 2 different tracks that I haven’t heard yet. So be sure to get the deluxe edition and get the full feel that I unfortunately don’t have yet.

But what about you? What did you think?

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