Toni Braxton (album)

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Toni Braxton
Toni Braxton (album).png
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 13, 1993 (1993-07-13)
RecordedMay 1992; November 1992–1993[1]
Studio
Genre
Length53:18
Label
Producer
Toni Braxton chronology
Toni Braxton
(1993)
Secrets
(1996)
Singles from Toni Braxton
  1. "Another Sad Love Song"
    Released: June 29, 1993
  2. "Breathe Again"
    Released: August 6, 1993
  3. "Seven Whole Days"
    Released: October 8, 1993
  4. "You Mean the World to Me"
    Released: April 22, 1994
  5. "I Belong to You"/"How Many Ways"
    Released: June 10, 1994

Toni Braxton is the debut studio album by American singer Toni Braxton. It was released on July 13, 1993, by LaFace Records and Arista Records.

Background[edit]

Braxton and her four sisters Traci, Towanda, Trina, and Tamar signed with Arista Records as The Braxtons in 1989. The following year, the group released their debut single, "Good Life".[2] Though the song was commercially unsuccessful, it attracted the attention of record executive Antonio "L.A." Reid and record producer Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, who were shopping around for talent for their new label LaFace Records.[1] Instead of signing the quintet, they opted to offer Braxton a contract as a solo artist. With only one year to finish at Bowie State University, where she was studying to become a music teacher, she relocated to Atlanta to pursue a singing career.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[3]
Chicago Tribune2.5/4 stars[4]
Entertainment WeeklyC[5]
Los Angeles Times3/4 stars[6]
The Philadelphia Inquirer2/4 stars[7]
Q3/5 stars[8]
Rolling Stone2/5 stars[9]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3/5 stars[10]
The Tampa Tribune3/4 stars[11]
USA Today3.5/4 stars[12]

Toni Braxton received mixed to positive reviews from music critics. Ron Wynn from AllMusic said that the album showcased Braxton as "an elegant and earthy songstress, nicely balancing those seemingly divergent sentiments [...] Braxton's husky, enticing voice sounds hypnotic, dismayed, and disillusioned [...] but she's never out of control, indignant, or so anguished and hurt that she fails to retain her dignity."[3] Los Angeles Times critic Connie Johnson wrote: "Sounding like an unlikely hybrid of Phyllis Hyman, Anita Baker and Tracy Chapman, Braxton's sultry, earthy delivery makes her a standout in today's R&B arena."[6] Similarly, People found that "when Braxton slides into her lower register she echoes Anita Baker, and when she skips around the higher notes there's also a hint of Whitney Houston. The influences are there, but Toni Braxton is most definitely her own woman. On this sophisticated, stylish and soulful album, she slates her case."[13]

Mitchell May, writing for the Chicago Tribune, noted that "Braxton wisely lets the mood of a tune dictate her approach, allowing her to supply an emotional depth that perhaps even the songwriters didn't know was there." He also found, however, that "the disc loses steam around midpoint."[4] In a mixed review, Rolling Stone journalist John McAlley felt that "Braxton has got chops and spunk... And, yes, there are a handful of songs in which she gets to do the do. But there's not a poet in the house among LaFace's family of writer-producers – no Smokey Robinson, no Linda Creed. And for all its polish, too much of the music on Toni Braxton mistakes melodrama for passion and set pieces for soul."[9] Marisa Fox of Entertainment Weekly found much of the album "generic" and concluded that Braxton "can sing, but there's nothing in her songs or delivery to set her apart from any number of wine-cooler R&B divas."[5] Village Voice critic Robert Christgau gave the album a "neither" rating in his Consumer Guide book.[14]

Commercial performance[edit]

Toni Braxton debuted at number 36 on the Billboard 200 and later spent two non-consecutive weeks atop the chart as well as three non-consecutive weeks atop the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. It has sold 5,135,000 copies in the United States and 10 million copies worldwide.[15][16] The album was primarily produced by L.A. Reid, Babyface, and Daryl Simmons. The first single, "Another Sad Love Song", peaked at numbers seven and two on the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B Singles charts, respectively. The album's second single, "Breathe Again", peaked in the top five of both the Hot 100 and R&B charts and at number two on the UK Singles Chart. Other singles were released from Toni Braxton in 1994, including "You Mean the World to Me", "Seven Whole Days", and the double A-side "I Belong to You"/"How Many Ways".

The album received positive reviews and earned Braxton several awards, including three Grammy Awards (for Best New Artist and two consecutive awards for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in 1994 and 1995). She also won two American Music Awards (for Favorite Soul/R&B New Artist and Favorite New Adult Contemporary Artist) in 1994 and another one in 1995 (for Favorite Soul/R&B Album).

In Japan, the album was released as Love Affair, also a song on the album. The Japanese edition contains the same track listing as the standard version; the only difference is the Obi strip and the bonus lyrics booklet written in Japanese.

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Another Sad Love Song"
5:01
2."Breathe Again"Babyface
  • Reid
  • Babyface
  • Simmons
4:29
3."Seven Whole Days"
  • Reid
  • Babyface
  • Simmons
6:22
4."Love Affair"
  • Tim Thomas
  • Ted Bishop
Tim & Ted4:28
5."Candlelight"
  • Gaylor D
  • John Barnes
  • Reid
  • Babyface
  • Simmons
4:36
6."Spending My Time with You"Bo & McArthurBo & McArthur4:08
7."Love Shoulda Brought You Home"
  • Reid
  • Babyface
  • Simmons
4:56
8."I Belong to You"
  • Vassal Benford (also music)
  • Ronald Spearman
Benford3:53
9."How Many Ways"
Herbert4:45
10."You Mean the World to Me"
  • Reid
  • Babyface
  • Simmons
  • Reid
  • Babyface
  • Simmons
4:53
11."Best Friend"
  • Braxton
  • Vance Taylor
4:28
12."Breathe Again" (Reprise)Babyface
  • Reid
  • Babyface
  • Simmons
1:19
Total length:53:18
European edition bonus track[17]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
13."Give U My Heart" (Mad Ball Mix)
  • Watson
  • Babyface
  • Reid
  • Simmons
  • Reid
  • Babyface
  • Simmons
  • Herbert[c]
6:11
Total length:59:29
Spanish edition bonus track[18]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
14."Breathe Again" (Spanish version)Babyface
4:30
Total length:63:59

Notes

  • ^[a] Despite not being credited as songwriters of "How Many Ways" in the album's liner notes, Keith Miller, Philip Field, and Anthony Beard are listed as songwriters by ASCAP and BMI.[19][20]
  • ^[b] signifies a co-producer
  • ^[c] signifies a remixer and additional producer
  • ^[d] signifies a remix producer

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Toni Braxton.[21]

Musicians[edit]

  • Toni Braxton – lead vocals (all tracks); background vocals (tracks 1–6, 8–12)
  • Kayo – bass (tracks 1, 5–7, 10)
  • Babyface – keyboards (tracks 1–3, 5, 7, 10, 12); background vocals (track 7)
  • L.A. Reid – drums (tracks 1–3, 5–7, 10, 12)
  • Debra Killings – background vocals (tracks 1, 7)
  • DeRock – percussion (tracks 2, 3, 10)
  • Vance Taylor – keyboards (tracks 3, 5, 10); acoustic piano (track 7)
  • Pamela Copeland – background vocals (tracks 3, 4)
  • Tammy Davis – background vocals (track 3)
  • Keisha Jackson – background vocals (track 3)
  • Tim & Ted – drums, keyboards (track 4)
  • Skip Pruitt – saxophone (track 4)
  • Tim Thomas – background vocals (track 4)
  • Tye-V – background vocals (track 4)
  • Bo Watson – keyboards (tracks 6, 7); synthesizer programming, vocal arrangement, rhythm arrangement (track 6)
  • McArthur – guitar (track 6)
  • Tomi M – guitar (track 6)
  • Trina Broussard – background vocals (track 7)
  • Valerie Davis – background vocals (track 8)
  • Rex Rideout – keyboards, programming (track 11)
  • Ernesto Phillips – guitar (track 11)
  • Orlando Phillips – bass guitar (track 11)

Technical[edit]

  • L.A. Reid – production (tracks 1–3, 5, 7, 10, 12); mixing (tracks 1–7, 12); executive production
  • Babyface – production (tracks 1–3, 5, 7, 10, 12); executive production
  • Daryl Simmons – production (tracks 1–3, 5, 7, 10, 12)
  • Jim "Z" Zumpano – engineering (tracks 1–7, 10, 12)
  • John Rogers – engineering (track 1)
  • Barney Perkins – mixing (tracks 1, 7); engineering (track 7)
  • Dave Way – mixing (tracks 2–5, 12)
  • John Frye – mixing assistance (tracks 2–6, 12); additional MIDI programming (tracks 2, 3, 10, 12); engineering assistance (track 6)
  • Tim & Ted – production (track 4)
  • Ron Horvath – engineering (track 4)
  • Phil Tan – engineering (track 4)
  • Thom Kidd – engineering (track 4)
  • Ted Bishop – engineering (track 4)
  • Brad Gilderman – engineering (track 5)
  • Randy Walker – technician (track 5)
  • Bo & McArthur – production (track 6)
  • Jason Schablik – engineering assistance (track 6)
  • Jon Gass – mixing (track 6)
  • Fil Brown – engineering (track 7)
  • Steve Schwartzberg – engineering (track 7)
  • Matt Westfield – engineering (track 7)
  • Sean Young – engineering (track 7)
  • Milton Chan – mixing assistance (track 7)
  • Vassal Benford – production (track 8)
  • Victor Flores – engineering, mixing (track 8)
  • Vincent Herbert – production, mixing (track 9)
  • Ben Garrison – engineering, mixing (track 9)
  • Ernesto Phillips – production, mixing (track 11)
  • Toni Braxton – co-production (track 11)
  • Bill Plummer – engineering (track 11)
  • Bob Rosa – mixing (track 11)
  • Dana Vlcek – mix engineering assistance (track 11)
  • Herb Powers Jr. – mastering
  • Constance Armstrong – album coordination
  • Davett Singletary – project coordination

Artwork[edit]

  • Susan Mendola – art direction
  • Daniela Federici – photography

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[52] Gold 35,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[53] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Japan (RIAJ)[54] Gold 100,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[55] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[56] Platinum 15,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[57] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[59] 8× Platinum 6,107,000[i]

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Ref.
United States July 13, 1993 [60]
Japan September 22, 1993 BMG [61]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Tracks 1–7 and 10
  2. ^ Tracks 1, 2, 4, 6 and 7
  3. ^ Track 4
  4. ^ a b Track 5
  5. ^ Track 7
  6. ^ Engineering on track 8
  7. ^ Track 9
  8. ^ Track 11
  9. ^ As of April 2011, Toni Braxton had sold 5,135,000 copies in the United States according to Nielsen SoundScan,[16] which does not count albums sold through clubs like the BMG Music Club, where it sold 972,000 copies.[58] Combined, it has sold over 6,107,000 copies in the US.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Whetstone, Muriel L. (May 1994). "Toni Braxton". Ebony. Vol. 49 no. 7. p. 143. ISSN 0012-9011 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ "Toni Braxton". Vibe. Archived from the original on November 12, 2007. Retrieved December 18, 2006.
  3. ^ a b Wynn, Ron. "Toni Braxton – Toni Braxton". AllMusic. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  4. ^ a b May, Mitchell (October 7, 1993). "Toni Braxton: Toni Braxton (LaFace)". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
  5. ^ a b Fox, Marisa (July 23, 1993). "Toni Braxton". Entertainment Weekly. No. 180. ISSN 1049-0434. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  6. ^ a b Johnson, Connie (September 5, 1993). "Toni Braxton, 'Toni Braxton,' LaFace/Arista". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 17, 2011.
  7. ^ Moon, Tom (August 22, 1993). "Toni Braxton: Toni Braxton (Arista)". The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  8. ^ "Toni Braxton: Toni Braxton". Q. No. 163. April 2000. p. 106.
  9. ^ a b McAlley, John (November 25, 1993). "Toni Braxton: Toni Braxton". Rolling Stone. No. 670. ISSN 0035-791X. Archived from the original on July 9, 2008. Retrieved October 17, 2011.
  10. ^ Harris, Keith (2004). "Toni Braxton". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 103–04. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8 – via Google Books.
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  12. ^ Jones, James T. IV (July 27, 1993). "Young soul divas turn hearts afire". USA Today.
  13. ^ "Picks and Pans Review: Toni Braxton". People. August 23, 1993. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
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  18. ^ Toni Braxton (Spanish edition liner notes). Toni Braxton. LaFace Records. 1993. 74321-21261-2.CS1 maint: others (link)
  19. ^ "How Many Ways (Work ID: 380350156)". ASCAP. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  20. ^ "How Many Ways (BMI Work #1857645)". BMI. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  21. ^ Toni Braxton (liner notes). Toni Braxton. LaFace Records. 1993. 73008-26007-2.CS1 maint: others (link)
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  25. ^ "European Top 100 Albums" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 11 no. 15. April 9, 1994. p. 28. OCLC 29800226 – via World Radio History.
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  32. ^ Salaverrie, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (in Spanish) (1st ed.). Madrid: Fundación Autor/SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
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  44. ^ "Top Selling Albums of 1994". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
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  47. ^ "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums – Year-End 1994". Billboard. Archived from the original on May 6, 2018. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  48. ^ "Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 1995". Billboard. Archived from the original on May 6, 2018. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  49. ^ "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums – Year-End 1995". Billboard. Archived from the original on May 6, 2018. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
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  51. ^ Mayfield, Geoff (December 25, 1999). "Top Pop Albums of the '90s". Billboard. Vol. 111 no. 52. p. YE-20. ISSN 0006-2510 – via Google Books.
  52. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  53. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Toni Braxton – Toni Braxton". Music Canada. June 16, 1995. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  54. ^ "GOLD ALBUM 他認定作品 1997年5月度" (PDF). Recording Industry Association of Japan (in Japanese) (452): 9. July 1997. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  55. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Toni Braxton – Toni Braxton" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved November 16, 2018. Enter Toni Braxton in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  56. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Toni Braxton – Toni Braxton". Recorded Music NZ. March 27, 1994. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  57. ^ "British album certifications – Toni Braxton – Toni Braxton". British Phonographic Industry. March 1, 1994. Retrieved October 4, 2015. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Toni Braxton in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  58. ^ David, Barry (February 18, 2003). "Shania, Backstreet, Britney, Eminem and Janet Top All Time Sellers". Music Industry News Network. Archived from the original on March 19, 2015. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  59. ^ "American album certifications – Toni Braxton – Toni Braxton". Recording Industry Association of America. February 28, 1997. Retrieved September 21, 2015. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  60. ^ "Toni Braxton: Toni Braxton". Amazon (US). Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  61. ^ "ラヴ・アフェア" [Love Affair]. Amazon (Japan) (in Japanese). Retrieved October 4, 2015.