Tamar Braxton’s “Calling All Lovers” A.K.A the Hopeless Romantic’s Guide to Trauma and Healing (Review)

by MARYAM OUTLAW

R&B singer and TV personality Tamar Braxton is renowned for her always hilarious meme-worthy one-liners and facial expressions. But after releasing her fourth studio album Calling All Lovers October 2, the songstress expresses a more profound side of herself with a 16-track CD shouting with passion and vocal strength.

In a heartfelt salute to Braxton’s past relationships, the Grammy-nominated musician said the album was inspired by boyfriends she dated before she met record-producer and husband Vincent Herbert.

Warning: Do NOT listen to this album in public. It will give you ALL the feels.

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This one is simple. Anyone ever scorned by a beyond trifling beau can relate to this album. Have you ever known a guy who just stopped calling one day and left you feeling embarrassingly insecure? Yup, this is for you. Have you ever unnecessarily put someone on a pedestal, intensely swearing your loyalty to them forever? Hop on board. Have you ever vowed to yourself never to let a dude even look your direction ever again because you know your presence is a reward in itself and he was undeserving. Welcome, welcome.

Using drum machine-backed rhythms, emotive lyrics and crisp vocal runs, Braxton pairs her four-octave range with poignant ballads, romantic tempos and a few upbeat singles influenced by both reggae, dance and funk.

But most noteworthy is Braxton’s ability to shed the comedic persona she is so famous for and disappear seamlessly into music concerning great love and great loss. For example, in tracks such as “Broken Record,” and “Circles,” Braxton’s wounded spirits are almost palpable as she belts lyrics such as “Did I say something wrong?/ Did I not put it on you?/ I’m living with a stranger/You’re lying here but it feels like you’re gone/I’m missing you come home” in her song “Coming Home.”

Though multiple songs focus on sentimental heartbreak, the album also features tracks such as “Catfish” and “Must Have Been Good to You,” which speak on deadbeat lovers with upbeat tones.

And in case listeners start thinking Calling All Lovers is just 48 minutes of men-bashing and female bias, relax. Braxton takes time to praise men and good relationships in songs like“King” and “Raise the Bar,” which include lyrics such as “I thought that I knew/ Everything about it/But then came you/And ain’t no doubt about it/ Like a wish on a star/You, you, you, you raised the bar.”

While Braxton does experiment with more genres outside of her comfort zone, such as reggae in the song “Angels and Demons,” the vocalist shines the most when recording traditional R&B tracks and power ballads, throwing it back to better times, when words had meaning and emotions were more important than strobe lights and extreme choreography.

Overall, Braxton thoroughly impresses with a dynamic vocal range, relatable subject matter and a delicate grit that transcends far beyond the earphones and into the broken hearts into anyone trying to pull themselves back together after a romantic failure.

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