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Mace & Crown | April 22, 2018

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Music Review: Toni Braxton's 'Sex and Cigarettes'

Pettie Perkins | Contributing Writer

Toni Braxton is back! Her new album “Sex and Cigarettes” is different than her last ones. This album does not have the sass of her previous albums. The deep sultry singer has the sultry, just not as deep in voice. It seems as though Braxton has lived through a couple of heartaches and bad situations to create this album. It seems that life may have mellowed Braxton and provided her some time to reflect. That reflection has brought us to this new album.

It has been about eight years since she has released an album. Her previous albums were majority club ready and danceable. Braxton’s previous albums were also about not being man enough and leaving men alone.

Her single “Unbreak My Heart,” provided a tug at the heartstrings, but it is nothing compared to “Sex and Cigarettes.” “Sex and Cigarettes,” has six out of eight danceable tracks and some adult language. This album also features Ms. Braxton as a songwriter and producer. She worked with Daryl Simmons, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Colbie Caillat, and Antonio Dixon in creating this album.

“I don’t know who you think you are/ I’m a motherfucking star” is a line from “FOH.” In this ballad, she lets the person know that if you don’t want to be in her life then don’t come around. Explicit language never sounded so sexy.

In “Coping,” she allows listeners to feel the fact that she is having to cope with not having the person she loved any more.

“My Heart” is a ballad featuring Colbie Caillat and letting her new suitor know that she can give everything but her heart.

I swear you act like you hate me, hate me/How can you tell me “I love you”/Then do the things you do?/At least try to lie to me, lie to me” these are some of the lyrics from “Sex and Cigarettes.” The more the album is listened to the deeper it brings you toward the pain that she expresses.  

The single “Deadwood” was released in September 2017 and “Long As I Live” was released February 2018. The complete album was released March 23.

It seems that life has taken a part in this album and not just lashing out in anger toward past boyfriends and men. This is Ms. Braxton’s debut album for Def Jam and she has signed a new record deal. It looks like this pop and R&B singer has just put herself back into the spotlight with this album.