Toni Braxton - Spell My Name | Page 7 | The Popjustice Forum

Toni Braxton - Spell My Name

Discussion in 'Pop & Justice' started by Voicething, Apr 6, 2020.

  1. She is just so consistently good, nearly 30 years into her career and the quality remains as good as ever, a living legend!
  2. londonrain

    londonrain Staff Member

    This mental image... RIP Chadwick.
    Mr.Arroz, Daniel L, Sleepycat and 7 others like this.
  3. I am more of a causal Toni Braxton fan apart from her 2 superb 90s albums and only noticed this album following it's release yesterday. Decided to give it a go, and not bad at all. Could do with a couple of more bops akin to Dance (her best song in years!) and don't see the point of 2 versions of Do It on there, but on the whole, it's pretty good. I don't mind it being only 9 songs either, no filler to get in the way then. A very old skool approach to an album too in that respect.
    life_is_good and Tchelitchew like this.
  4. She sounds wonderful on this: that special deep voice of hers has held up incredibly well. The tasteful and sophisticated, yet yearning and sexy, vibe of her last few albums works beautifully for her. "Fallin'" and the title track are the standouts for me.

    I definitely don't mind getting shorter albums with quality this high. The two versions of "Do It" are amusing. She also released the remix of "Dance" before the song itself! Maybe discographical oddities are her thing?
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2020
  5. Currently given it a second listen and it's even better second time. Each song is a stand out in their own right.
    Daniel L, londonrain and Tchelitchew like this.
  6. londonrain

    londonrain Staff Member

    She did the same thing on the last album when she released the remixes of Coping before the actual album version was released.
  7. Saturday Night is other-worldly. No-one does melodrama like Toni.
  8. Her voice still has it too.
  9. Saturday Night, oh my God!

    Happy Without Me just destroyed me. You can literally feel her pain.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2020
  10. RainOnFire

    RainOnFire Staff Member

    I know this is its own studio album, but it kinda feels like Sex & Cigarettes: Side B? Maybe because of its length or the short announcement-to-release window, but I'm enjoying it more as an addition to an already great album because it doesn't necessarily stand as tall when regarded on its own, if that makes sense.

    Gotta Move On, Spell My Name, Happy Without Me, and Nothin' are my favourites. Saturday Night is a weird one for me - I feel like I should love it because I live for the melodrama, but I feel like Happy Without Me covers that area and then some, so Saturday Night ends up feeling a little redundant. Not to mention that it's a ballad following two other ballads, so I feel like the production could've been more sinister and menacing instead of the usual piano/strings, it needed drums or something to amp it up and give it a different flair.
    Butterfly and Sprockrooster like this.
  11. Just checking if you heard Long As I Live? It is superb.


    I can see the point made by several this screams more leftovers from the Sex & Cigarettes era than an own individual album. It doesn't reach the highs of Sex & Cigarettes, but quite frankly I was not expecting that either. Though there is a lot of potential here. I can definitely see Saturday Night grow into the top 5 from Toni.
    TRAVVV and WhatKindOfKylie? like this.
  12. I really do like this, but every time I put it on, I just want to listen to Sex and Cigarettes again.
    Sprockrooster likes this.
  13. I haven't no,think I should give it a go too. As for Saturday Night, it's absolutely perfection. A firm favourite of mine already.
    londonrain likes this.
  14. RainOnFire

    RainOnFire Staff Member

    The title track is so sexy, whew. I can't get enough

  15. I really like to own this on CD, but I can't justify £11 for 9 songs. Even 9 songs this good.
    londonrain likes this.
  16. Listening to this for the first time, and she really does sound as good as ever doesn't she? Top quality record.
    Pop Life likes this.
  17. Long As I Live is one of her greatest songs in years. It automatically went into top 10 Toni for me. It’s just so HER.

    Seeing her perform live last year was such a life long dream come true I was really emotional haha
    topopMAC1, TRAVVV, londonrain and 5 others like this.
  18. You should definitely give her last album a listen! It seems most of us are in agreement it’s better (as good as Spell My Name is). There’s a bit more of a pop influence too.
    WhatKindOfKylie? and Pop Life like this.
  19. I’ve had the great fortune in my youth being around her a lot and her voice will always be one of the most special instruments ever recorded.

    This is a good album and I’ll always welcome new material from her. There truly is no one more deserving of longevity as a singer.

    With that said, she’s falling back into the habit of leaning too heavily on pushing her larynx down and coming up with an unnatural heaviness to her tone. It’s a bit of laziness and ego-stroking on her part.

    During her debut, she really showed off her mid-register and power. Secrets was a more refined album that showed more color of her lower register without turning her back on that great range and tone in the middle and upper parts of her instrument.

    She languished after that, taking years to get back on her feet and get in the studio due to contractual, financial and personal reasons.

    Rodney Jerkins, who made a career trying to fit everything into a single sound with next to no musicality, really brought her back to the forefront and out of cancel culture territory with HWMEFM. I remember he took it as a personal challenge to get her a hit when people said she’d never recover from her bad press. But that vocal he used leaned into her depressed larynx delivery because her voice otherwise would completely overshadow the production. And instead of elevating the production to her, he made the vocal come down to production.

    When the song tested so well, she proceeded to record more songs in that vocal delivery and it became a bit of a signature, not unlike what happened with T-Boz.

    She really leaned into that tone for a few albums and it’s no surprise that most the singles could never gain traction. That tone just doesn’t show the quality of her voice, which is what really sells her songs.

    It wasn’t until the duets album, where she had to drop it to fit the vocal brief, that we heard the really special parts of her voice again. And she was rewarded for it with a Grammy.

    Sex & Cigs was a great album that really showed her using her matured instrument and not leaning into that unnatural tone for more than a few words or phrases per song. And again, it showcased her amazing talent.

    But listening to this album, she’s back to doing it a bit more and it’s unfortunate. For one, it’s not a healthy way to sing and will produce some wear and tear. And secondly, it pigeon holes the material into a very specific sound that doesn’t typically translate to most listeners.

    And while mainstream commercial success may not be the priority any more at this point in her career, her singles typically do much better with less of the manufactured vocal heaviness.

    Btw, people don’t often notice, but she truly has one of the most beautiful head voices ever recorded. Go thru her discography and listen to when she jumps into her falsetto (sooo underused by her). It’s a thing of beauty and even surpasses some of the greats known for their upper registers.
  20. I am absolutely obsessed with "Spell My Name", the song!!!
    WhatKindOfKylie? and Pop Life like this.
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