A woman stung by a painful breakup summons strength (“I’m Still Breathing”). “Fairy Tale” implies that being “just friends” may be healthier than a “love affair.”
With help from guest rapper Left-Eye (of TLC), Braxton demands intercourse and oral sex from a man (“Gimme Some”). The title track wants to “get it on” and enjoy coed skinny-dipping. “Maybe” finds the singer debating—in rapturous detail—whether or not to have drinks and sex again with her boyfriend (“Should I give him some . . . Will he make me hot/Will he hit the spot I love a lot”). She invites an alluring stranger to play her “through the night” like a “Spanish Guitar.” Pillow talk and ecstatic moaning characterize “The Art of Love.” On “Speaking in Tongues,” spiritual expressions are co-opted and woven amid passionate propositions including, “Talk dirty to me.”
From her suggestive cover photo to frank songs soliciting sex, Braxton’s phoenix-like return to the charts is all but bankrupt. This talented star of Broadway’s Beauty and the Beast has a sultry knack for conveying romantic agony, but here she seems about to explode from repressed erotic intensity. Better turn down The Heat.