Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Music Review: Traci Braxton - "Last Call". The "BFV" and "Marriage Boot Camp" star is definitely "breaking out"...

Hey ya'll! I am happy to be one of the first to review WEtv reality star Traci Braxton's new single "Last Call".  If you are a fan of "Braxton Family Values" then this not exactly new to you.  On the show, it chronicled Traci's struggle to record her music, finding the approval of her sisters (in particular superstar big sister Toni Braxton) and honing in on finding her voice.  Well, I do believe she has succeeded!  In the words of her little sister and breakout music star Tamar Braxton -- "She won"!

It seems that the Braxton sisters have been fighting the industry curse of being the younger siblings of a legend for over two decades!  With a few notable but unsuccessful attempts, the sisters have tried their mightiness, though being super talented and unfortunate have failed until recently with new found success and exposure through their hit reality show.  Traci has been the most vocal in breaking out of the box of being known as "Toni Braxton's little sister" and has voiced her desire to sing.  Though her family may not have believed she would stick with it, put in the work and give it valiant effort, she has proved all naysayers wrong.

"Last Call" is a surprisingly a very sensual classic R&B record, with an 80's, early 90's throwback vibe while still being very contemporary in today's demographic of Pop and crossover Hip-Hop\R&B that seems to reign the charts.  Traci is heard pouring out to her lover that it is her last call to keep asking for what she desires in their relationship and she does so with vocal ease.  Her sound is surprising not as heavily Braxton influenced as expected.  We all know the sisters sound amazing together in their 5-part harmony, but that familiar Braxton sound is not overly present -- she isn't trying to sound like famous sisters Toni or Tamar, but allowing her own inner diva to shine.  The target audience of this song definitely seems suited for an over 25 crowd; it has a nice Adult Contemporary flair without being somber, it's fresh enough to still be played on Top 40 radio stations and your favorite Quiet Storm station.

While there was many things I loved from this song, there is only point of criticism that I have to offer -- the overt use of auto-tune throughout the song.  As a fan of "Braxton Family Values" we all know Traci can in fact really sing, she has a very strong contralto voice that has the ability to soar and stand out even in group harmonies. The musical style of the song "Last Call" purposely uses reverb to match the vocals to the electronic R&B beat, it makes sense, it sounds great but from a marketing perspective I think that it could hurt Traci's exposure, especially with this being her first single.  To an untrained ear, the use of reverb, which is used primarily throughout the verses and chorus, would allude to much needed vocal correction like many singers of today who are more breathy and nasally than actually vocalists, but Traci doesn't need auto-tune to sound great.  Her natural voice does however shine throughout her adlibs, pre-chorus' and the songs bridge which seems to be less studio enhanced and allows the listener to truly hear her vocal ability without distortion.

I grade this song with a B- for it's strong debut, pleasant vocals and overall listenability. Be sure to download your copy today from legal music retailers today!  I downloaded my copy from Itunes for a well worth it $1.29.  I am definitely looking forward to hear more from Traci in the near future.  Until then be sure to catch her on the current season of WEtv's "Marriage Boot Camp" and the new season of BFV coming in August!

Photo Source: iTunes.  No copyright infringement intended, used for informational purposes only.


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