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Snowflakes

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Album Review

Snowflakes is hardly a traditional Christmas record. Of its nine proper songs (the two final songs are instrumental and remix variations of two cuts that came before), there are only two standards — "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and "The Christmas Song" — unless you want to count Vince Guaraldi's "Christmas Time Is Here," familiar through Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown. The rest has been co-written by Braxton and a variety of collaborators, then polished by her, Keri Lewis, and Antonio "L.A." Reid. Not surprisingly, the end result is something that's very similar to a proper Toni Braxton record, only with an appropriately hushed tone and the sultriness replacing the overt sexiness. Some of the originals are pretty good — particularly the two opening cuts, "Holiday Celebrate" and the Shaggy duet "Christmas in Jamaica" (it's always a good idea to front-load holiday records) — and the rest that don't make much of an impact are nevertheless pleasant and add to the mood. And that pretty much summarizes the record — it's not remarkable, but it's nice, providing a nice, romantic soundtrack for an evening of cuddling in front of the tree and a roaring fire. Which is all that you could ask for, really.

Biography

Born: 07 October 1967 in Severn, MD

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Toni Braxton was one of the most popular and commercially successful female R&B singers of the '90s, thanks to her ability to straddle seemingly opposite worlds. Braxton was soulful enough for R&B audiences, but smooth enough for adult contemporary; sophisticated enough for adults, but sultry enough for younger listeners; strong enough in the face of heartbreak to appeal to women, but ravishing enough to nab the fellas. Wielding such broad appeal, Braxton managed to score not one, but two...
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