The Musical Wrap-Up closes another file as we compile the album and single reviews in one place for ‘Sex & Cigarettes,’ the first new solo Toni Braxton album in eight years.
Headline: Adult contemporary R&B veteran Toni Braxton delivers a tight, well-rounded eight-track album with ‘Sex & Cigarettes,’ her first solo album since 2010.
Verdict: 3 ½ out of 5 stars: “In an age where lengthier albums have returned given the domination of streaming, Toni Braxton settles for the 30-minute album. While Sex & Cigarettes is short, all eight of its songs are consistent, suiting her as an artist. She may not reinvent the wheel, R&B, or even herself, but this is a worthwhile, well-executed affair by all means.”
Headline: Adult Contemporary R&B veteran Toni Braxton returns with “Deadwood,” her first new solo single in years.
Verdict: 3 ½ out of 5 stars: “Ultimately, “Deadwood” isn’t the greatest song ever written or performed, but Toni Braxton makes it sound great. It checks off the boxes in regards to vocals, production, and pleasantness. This is not the second coming, but it’s always swell to hear Toni again.”
“Long as I Live”
Headline: Adult contemporary R&B veteran Toni Braxton sounds as classy and vibrant as ever on “Long as I Live,” her first single of 2018.
Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars: “… This is rock-solid, adult contemporary R&B. The chorus is absolutely terrific, as Toni does Toni. What more can you ask for, particularly if you’re a long-time fan? While ‘Long as I Live’ won’t go down as the song of the year, it’s exuberant, groovy, grown folks R&B, and that’s perfect for Braxton.”
“Sex & Cigarettes”
Headline: Fierce at 50 years old, Toni Braxton keeps R&B alive and well on “Sex & Cigarettes,” the title track from her eighth studio album.
Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars: “Two words: class act. Toni Braxton successfully recaptures the fire and the magic of the past – her lucrative prime. Unfortunately, R&B doesn’t have the clout on popular music it once did. Still, fans who love the unique timbre of Braxton’s voice, and big, dramatic ballads will love ‘Sex & Cigarettes.’”