Who Made The Best Comeback, Sade, Toni, Whitney or Maxwell?
Are you upset that the definition of R&B music haschanged over the last several years? Do you miss the days when an R&B songcould impact the charts without the assistance of a guest rapper or hip-hopmusic bed? Or do you simply want a nice new romantic album that you can play inthe car when out on a romantic date?
Well, a few concessions have been made over the last year asa handful of the genre's best talents have returned for your listeningpleasure.
There's just one catch. Making a comeback after taking anextended hiatus is not always easy. Let's take a look at what Sade, ToniBraxton, Whitney Houston, and Maxwell have done to prepare the market for theirbig returns.
Sade: Smooth Operator
I don't think I've ever met a person who did not love Sade.
From the moment her return was announced, fans have gonenuts with anticipation. Unlike many artists, who reveal that they are returningto the studio and end up spending years rescheduling their release dates (seeMaxwell entry below), Sade stayed on schedule.
The best part about "Solider Of Love," her first album in 10years, is that it delivers her classic sound. Her vocal tone is still husky yetsoft, and music sooths the soul. I understand why some artists feel the need toreinvent themselves to stay fresh and current, but because Sade has a timelessstyle, she does not have to take such an approach.
She effortlessly reclaims her throne. "Soldier Of Love" issolid from beginning to end.
The only surprise is the album's somber message. The thoughtof Sade wrestling with heartache for an entire album is saddening. But hergraceful approach offers enough optimism to keep listeners in good spirits.
The positive reception to "Soldier..." has been overwhelming.The album makes its debut on the charts this week at No. 1 this week, sellingmore than 500,000 copies.
Toni Braxton: BreatheAgain
One of the best voices in R&B, Toni Braxton will release"Pulse," her first album in 5 years on May 4. "Pulse" follows her 2005 full-length,"Libra."
While Braxton has consistently had good music with each ofher records, her last few albums have not performed as well on the charts."Libra" and 2002's "More Than A Woman" only achieved gold sales status comparedto the multi-platinum certifications her previous efforts earned.
The music business has changed significantly during the courseof her career that took off with the 1992 release of her song "Love ShouldaBrought You Home" for the soundtrack of Eddie Murphy's movie "Boomerang." Herself-titled debut came out the next year.