Toni Braxton‘s first real attempt at making dance music shouldn’t sound as flawless as this.
‘I Heart You’ is such a classy and elegant anti-thesis to all the aggressive synth and dubstep infused beats infiltrating the charts right now. It’s precisely the kind of innocuous dance production you want to hear complement – and not compete with – a singer as sultry as Ms Toni. However, the daggy and painfully budget video is another case altogether.
I feel like mama should’ve consulted with her sassy younger sister Tamar or asked Kelly Rowland for her director’s number with this one, because I’m sure that with the right styling and direction, ‘I Heart You’ could’ve come for J.Lo ass.
Toni‘s long-time director Bille Woodruff – who was behind numbers like ‘Unbreak My Heart’ and ‘He Wasn’t Man Enough’ – really should’ve brought something fresh to the table to put his girl at her fighting best.
I think since the 44-year old diva’s already channeling some Crystal Waters realness with this track, they should’ve gone all 90s and really recaptured the kind of effects used in 90s dance music videos. Y’know, with a bit more research and effort, this could’ve been a proper statement for Ms Toni.
Not the look.
In ‘I Heart You’ we see glimpses of Toni, the flawless siren, but somehow with the wrong wig and dress for most parts – memaw ends up looking like some law secretary hitting town for the first time since her son graduated from college. It’s not screaming 2012 or next-level TB. In fact, what is this video trying to portray? We’re not getting a sense for a particular style here. Are we meant to be reading WE Network Toni or should it be modern dance diva Toni?
The visual presentation doesn’t suggest anything at all. One minute she’s in a flirty, short pink dress and hooped earrings, next she’s looking like Aunty Toni in a leather jacket chaperoning her niece to the senior prom, and then she’s rocking some ornate drag queen’s headgear.
She needs to send a very clear message about who Toni Braxton‘s meant to be in this new era with these bold new dance beats so fans and viewers alike can grasp onto something. Otherwise, I’m afraid to say, Toni risks fading further into irrelevance.
We need to take this more seriously.
And another thing. Listen, ma. I’ve spent a lot of time strutting stone-faced around the city to ‘I Heart You’, so trust me when I say this is an emotive dance ballad that’s best served with a certain level of sultry elegance. None of this step-clap-whip-your-hair-and-grin bullshit. This is not a flash mob. You’re singing about falling desperately in love with a man who’s in love with another woman.
Watch Toni Braxton‘s ‘I Heart You’ video:
Toni Braxton’s ‘I Heart You’ is now out in the States. It’s the lead single from her forthcoming eighth studio album interestingly titled Heartstrings & Synagogue Vibes, which is set to arrive in May.
You better hang onto your wigs because this is the grandest concept album of the year. Ms Toni is apparently threatening a double-disc extravaganza that marries dance/R&B with Jewish and Arabic-inspired productions.