Retroactive Classic: Toni Braxton & Babyface 'Love, Marriage & Divorce'
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 09:54:44
Find out why, if you don't have this epic collaboration, you need it right now...
Hot on the heels of the announcement of Toni Braxton's first-ever Australian and New Zealand tour, we decided to take a look back at one of the decade's best R&B albums, Love, Marriage & Divorce [Motown]. Now, this monumental collaboration between Toni and Babyface only dropped last February, but its impact and influence already can't be denied. Upon release, it debuted at #4 on the Billboard Top 200, earning Toni her sixth top-ten, while hitting #1 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Moreover, it snagged "Best R&B Album" at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards. There's a reason that this album received so many accolades and such acclaim—it's a powerhouse bringing together two of the genre's greatest talents for something that feels more like a movie than a record.
If you listen to Love, Marriage & Divorce all the way through, as we urge you should, it ebbs and flows like a narrative. Toni sounds simply divine throughout, making for one of her most stunning performances ever, while Babyface's production remains utterly top-notch, appropriately bolstering each song with passion and potency. Opener "Roller Coaster" kicks off the story with a distinct energy that's equally soulful and soaring, while "Sweat" transfers everything to the bedroom with an unshakable spunk and attitude and enigmatic vocal call-and-response. "Hurt You" is an early standout, really highlighting Toni's pipes over a stark and more subtle musical backdrop. It's these intimate moments, which Love, Marriage & Divorce is rife with, that really make the album shine on every level. It's seriously a timeless piece for the both of them—and that's saying quite a bit!
Watch the Music Video for "Hurt You"