Love, Marriage & Divorce is a seductive collection of 11 cuts that do not disappoint. Fans of both Babyface and Toni Braxton will be happy to find that the magic that united the duo on their R&B hit, “Give U My Heart,” from the movie, Boomerang in 1992, has only grown and become a sonic whirlwind force.
The catchy opener “Roller Coaster” begins the set. Having always been a fan of both artists, Toni seems sultrier than she’s ever been on the song, while Babyface feels in his lane as it has a kind of “Whip Appeal” and “Love Saw It” esque instrumentation. On “Sweat,” one of the standouts on the CD, both passionately deliver the lyrics on how sometimes fighting is best settled in the bedroom. If R&B radio is smart, they will pick that one up as it has significant charting potential.
“Hurt You,” the first single from the album was welcoming to hear, but there is a feeling that another song should’ve been released initially given the other pieces presented. Babyface and Toni Braxton go it alone respectively on “I Hope That You’re Okay” and “I Wish.” The former is impressive and Babyface provides the listener with some in-depth vulnerability that perhaps hasn’t been exhibited since “And Our Feelings” or even “Soon As I Get Home.” The latter is a piano driven ballad from Toni that is both introspective and brash with lyrics such as “I hope she gives you a disease” and “I hope she spends all of your money.”
“Heart Attack,” the second to the last song on Love, Marriage & Divorce pulsates as a club track reminiscent of the type of demonstration that Braxton has gone for as of late. Babyface blends well with the upbeat tempo making it a pleasant track to listen to, despite giving an awareness of being out of place amidst more sensual and provocative jams. “The D Word,” closes the collection and it is a fitting finale to a debut duet repertoire that is perfectly produced.
Love, Marriage & Divorce should satisfy fans of both artists and bring new ones along the way. Neither singer has lost their vocal flourishes and touches they add to music. In fact, it could be said both voices have become seasoned over time allowing them to capture the moment precisely and sing with profound intensity.
Love, Marriage & Divorce receive a PARL