R&B singer Toni Braxton has released a new single called “Sex and Cigarettes,” and a review of the track, along with a link to the music, can be found on the Rolling Stone Magazine website. The song is the title track of a new Braxton album, her first solo record since 2010.
The song itself highlights Braxton’s considerable vocal talents. Most of the tune is simply Braxton singing over a piano with strings rising and swelling at times in the background. Personally, I think the song would be stronger if the strings weren’t there, and I feel the same way about the reverb and other studio ad-ons that give the music a processed effect it doesn’t need. Braxton has the kind of powerful voice the requires a bare minimum of backup instrumentation and production.
The lyrics of the song deal with infidelity. The narrator is, understandably, frustrated and heartbroken because her lover isn’t even trying to hide his infidelity but is rather coming to their bed reeking of “sex and cigarettes.” The subject matter is a bit more graphic and adult than that of some of Braxton’s previous hits, and I think it’s great that the singer is discussing serious life issues through her words.
In conclusion, Toni Braxton has been on the music scene since the 1980s and has been releasing strong music the entire time. Personally, I think it’s great that she is still releasing original music and not just resting on her laurels by touring as a retro act.