By: Zama Khumalo

The feisty Queen of RnB, Ms Toni Braxton has returned with her new album “Sex and cigarettes”. Although she took a eight year hiatus since her last solo album, in 2010, she has come full circle. It felt as if, for each year that passed in her life, a new emotion which emerged, she wrote down a song that would resonate to her followers. Showing no signs of stopping, she has proved that she is still the same old Ms Toni Braxton, that we all loved and adored. Ms Braxton is letting go of all of the pain and anger which has lingered in the fibre of her being. The messages conveyed within the album show that pain is a feeling that we all can learn from and understand.

“Think you got me good/Left me like some deadwood” starting the album with a gentle but powerful anthem called “Deadwood”. Ms Braxton leaves the impression that although one may be down, however, they may be not out. It gives the direction where the mood of the album is heading towards. “FOH” shows the frustration of what one goes through, when they are uncertain of how their partner feels about them and their relationship. The piano in the melody, makes you realise that her anger is ever so present, within the song.

The meaning of title of the album, “Sex & Cigarettes”, is not as raunchy as it sounds. It shows that in your heart, you want to carry on loving your partner but your brain, indicates that you deserve better and should get out of the relationship. The actual song “Sex and Cigarettes”, dwelves into having to deal with the stench of cigarettes coming from your partner, while he had been busy consummating with his other lover. The feeling of hurt, anger and sadness are rolled up into one. She does not hold back, she is still able to reel you in, making you feel every depth of pain behind her words, truly the work of a legend. The only feature, which has been done on the album, is the slow and soulful tune “My heart” with song writer Colbie Callait. Offering your all, except your heart to a former lover, painting a picture of how once we have moved on, it is better to let go and keep it moving.

“Long as I live” and “Coping” has the taste of a forgotten love and how you still remember it and reminisce on old times. With each song, playing at a gentle but soothing tempo, Ms Braxton has done a great job of making sure that each song is unique. Giving a rollercoaster of emotions when it comes the department of love, Ms Braxton has shown that she still reigns supreme. Her new love interest, Birdman, has even shown his support, mentioning that “She is a legend and she is good at what she does”. Definitely a stance that we can all agree on Ms Braxton still keeps the fire burning within our hearts.

Rating 8/10


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