Toni Braxton

Toni Braxton

Studio-made divas are a dime a dozen these days - but the real thing is awesome to behold. Sultry-voiced Toni Braxton proved she was the genuine article on her 1993 self-titled debut. Under the expert guidance of producers L.A. Reid and Babyface, she makes her first album an eclectic affair, surrounding herself with sensual hip-hop beats and gauzy jazz textures. Braxton is exceptionally fine at capturing heartache and loss. "Another Sad Love Song" and "Breathe Again" entice you with their bittersweet heat. "Love Shoulda Brought You Home" (first recorded for the film Boomerang) simmers with soul-deep remorse, yet remains elegant in delivery. Just when an up-tempo groove is called for, Braxton delivers on the unstoppable "I Belong to You." On every track, she sings with the assurance of a veteran artist while conveying the freshness of a newcomer. Braxton makes it all sound effortless on this sonically seductive album.

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