Monday, May 10, 2010

Album Review: Toni Braxton 'Pulse'

Toni Braxton returns with her sixth studio album Pulse.

There’s an interesting story that surrounds the creation of Toni Braxton’s latest album Pulse. In 2008 right before her stint on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, Toni was diagnosed with the heart illness, Microvascular Angina, and thought that because of her illness she would be unable to perform in music again.

It wasn’t until she had a chance encounter with a fellow patient, who had survived four heart attacks, that Toni received the much needed motivation to continue with her love of music by releasing new material.

Here enters Pulse.

Pulse stands as Toni’s 6th studio album that combines the smooth and mellow sounds the singer is accustomed to providing in music paired with the up-tempo tracks that the new school R&B is known to supply to fans.

The album starts off with the melody infused ballad “Yesterday.” The song that had some trouble charting when it was initially released, does the job of setting the tone for the rest of the album. Soon after, “Make My Heart” picks up right where “Yesterday” leaves off giving the listener a healthy balance of slow and fast-pumping tracks just 2 songs into the album.

You can tell that “Make My Heart” is a hit from its rhythmic pumps that mimics the beat of a heart.

The sultry “Hands Tied” gives us vintage Toni with the singer showing off her polished vocals managing to stay within her vocal pocket but still delivering in taking the song there.

“Hero” shows potential of being another hit for the singer. The single is reminiscent of her smash hit “Un-Break My Heart.” It wouldn’t be a surprise to hear the track played in movies or lifted for a soundtrack.

Toni enlists the help of commentary from Academy Award-winner Mo’nique as a woman who is fed up and ready to move on in “Caught.”

Overall, Toni Braxton’s Pulse delivers when it comes to getting a taste of R&B that is needed for getting the party started as well as R&B that is needed to wind down.

In my opinion, Toni would probably flourish if she released an album that stuck to a theme. Her voice fits well when it comes to telling a story and perhaps that could be the direction for her next project.

Pulse may not be 1996’s Secrets, but it is definitely the treat that her fans deserve.

Standout Tracks: “Make My Heart”, “Hero”, “Why Won’t You Love Me”, “Caught.”

Toni Braxton’s Pulse is in stores now.

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