February 01, 2011

Music Is...Toni Braxton - Self titled


If memory serves me correctly, "Toni Braxton" is her first release back in 1993. Fast-forward 7 or 8 years, and my ears are very pleased. I didn't know who she was (at first), what she looked like, I didn't even know her name. What I did know, is that I loved what I heard and I didn't mind listening to it another 100 times.  Fast-forward and play at 20 years old and I fully understand to a greater degree why I gravitated towards this album in the first place. Toni Braxton has a beautiful, vibrant, full tone to her voice that I rarely hear nowadays. She can get deep without sounding out of tune. I mean she has a very nice range that can't be duplicated. I don't know what particular order to go in here so I'll start with the first song just to kick this off.  

Yes, track 1, 'Another Sad Love Song'. FYI, the first time I heard this song that first kick wasn't something I expected right off the bat. My shoulders are the first thing to start bouncing, then I'm bobbing my head from side to side like I have no sense. I can't help it. The song talks about that one love song that comes on the radio that gets you thinking about the one you had and how it stirs those feelings up again, yet here I am dancing to it. Go figure. The second track 'Breath Again' also speaks on the subject of love in a similar perspective. The tempo is slowed a bit so the vibe isn't offset too much. 'Breath' discusses feelings so intense, passion and the way things used to be, that if the two should somehow part from each other she'll cease to exist. Like the lyrics say, "...Please understand if love ends Then I promise you, I promise you That, that I shall never breathe again". A very self explanatory song. Skipping to number 4 on the track list, we have the song 'Love Affair'. This one has a fairly heavier bass than the rest but I feel it complements her voice as opposed to taking over. Again, it continues to talk about relationships, however expressing the need to remain loyal to a man she's already with instead of taking part in a 'Love Affair' with what seems to be a good looking guy as you can gather from the song. Sends a good message, she "...aint down with O.P.P". Continuing the theme of love and connection, I had to save my favorite for last: 'Seven Whole Days'. Although the entire album showcases that natural bass in her singing voice, I feel this to be a prime example of that facet. Considering the subject matter she's singing about, I think that allows her to dig deeper into various ranges. Out of the entire song, one word repeated once drives me crazy: baby (in the second verse). I have no idea  why. I suppose its because of the way it seems to bounce and echo. 

Something I've come to notice about Toni B, is that she has this signature style of putting a "whooo" somewhere in the song. Hope she doesn't change that. I know I stared and flipped through the booklet for almost 20 minutes one day, just sitting there looking through it. Wondering what I would look like if  my hair was that cut, if I had a black leather jacket, a white tank-top, tight light blue denim jeans and a chain belt. Boy, you couldn't tell me nothin'. Seriously, I do like the cover just the same. The cover is one aspect I've always favored and look forward to. To me, it can say a lot without being to busy. Then again it depends on what you want to say. It's all like a domino effect in a way. In this case, all the dominoes fell in the right place pushing one after the other at just the right pace.

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