Toni Braxton is Makin’ Me High

Toni Braxton, queen of vocal melodrama, released a new single today and I actually like it. I like it a lot. Have a listen.

Hands Tied

I love Braxton’s vocals on this song. She rides the slow, sexy groove effortlessly. She never works the melody too hard, keeping her delivery simple and direct – nothing to prove. When she does vary from the melody, it’s exciting and powerful.

I have to admit to having a bit of a soft spot for Ms. Braxton. I grew up on her first two albums. Who didn’t love singing along to “Un-Break My Heart”? You can try to deny it, but you and I both know the truth: that song didn’t leave your head for a whole year. It’s been fourteen years, but you could probably still sing the whole song from memory.

Un-Break My Heart

Sadly, Braxton has been pretty much off-the-radar since that huge song took over. She had one big hit – “He Wasn’t Man Enough For Me” – off 2000’s “The Heat”, but failed to get any major radio play with follow-up singles. She released two more dismal albums (“More Than a Woman” and “Libra”) with little promotion and minimal sales. Without any radio presence, Braxton kept her name circulating in other ways. She played the lead role in Aida on Broadway several years back, as well as dancing a season on Dancing With The Stars, and starring in an ill-fated one-woman show in Vegas – cut short due to health concerns. It’s too early to tell, but now with Atlantic Records and some killer producers, Braxton could finally make a real comeback.

PULSE comes out May 4, 2010. I’ll be looking out for it!

What’s your favorite Toni Braxton song?

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