Cedric Brazle drops his debut six-track R&B album, ”If I Knew Then.” Taking us on a journey of heartbreak and retribution, “If I Knew Then” starts us off with “Granted.” The production shines through with synth beats and voice effects that only enhance his talents. The song starts with a breakup in the case of the right person, wrong time, and then carries through to “Mixed Feelings.”
Accompanied by a music video, ”Mixed Feelings,” continues with someone not knowing how to act after a breakup. The video is shot in a junkyard, a waterfront, and a graffitied room. The junkyard feels symbolic, like it shows their broken parts. The lakefront could mean that he’s trying to get some peace of mind. At the same time, the graffitied room shows chaos and confusion in their interactions. The sound maintains a relaxed vibe until an electric guitar solo comes in about 2 minutes that pervades for the rest of the song. This instrumental adds dramatics and holds the feeling until the end.
”Rather Die,” which is another breakup song in which Cedric goes through the stages of grief. Drawing inspiration from influences like Usher and Brandy, Cedric adds his own take with a message, meaning, and sound. “Breathe” is when he takes the high ground and realizes his self-worth. This feels like a turning point in the album. Using autotune as an effect, his voice melds in a way that’s satisfying and soothing.
Transitioning into a more futuristic sound, “Call” is more heavily EDM than the other songs. Still, he doesn’t lose any of his voice from it. There’s a really lovely trill in his notes that flows into the beat. The song details him thinking about cheating. He writes that if he’s going to get caught, he’s going to make it count. It’s driven and passionate, which is exactly the right way to head into the concluding track, “Human,” in which he apologizes. The song is slower, and you can really see the Maxwell influence. A peaceful way to end the album, you leave with the full story and can take what you want from it.
This album is well-produced, written, and arranged. For sure, a must-listen for all stages of romance you might find yourself in.
Connect with Cedric Brazle | Instagram