Rolling Stone (12/26/96, p.190) - "As designer champagne 'n' anguish R&B goes, SECRETS goes down nice and easy....Braxton knows how to find the romantic core in a piece of mainstream toffee...her bristling tone in the adultery song 'Talking In His Sleep' shows that...she's no pushover..."
Spin (9/96, p.152) - 7 - Worthy - "...The album's love groove relies as much on individuality as the average ambient techno compilation. Braxton's appeal is based more on identification than identity; her anonymity helps a listener Q Magazine (11/00, p.122) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Wholesome MOR balladry dominates in the form of weepies and occaional sassy interludes....Braxton's mahogany alto...singles her out as one of the finest female voices around..."
Entertainment Weekly (7/12/96, pp.54-55) - "...on Braxton's new album, SECRETS, the singer and her recording mentor [Babyface] offer up a series of secular hymns to attraction and affection, betrayal and brokenheartedness, cooing and cohabitation..." - Rating: A-
Personnel: Toni Braxton (vocals); Tony Rich, R. Kelly (various instruments, background vocals); Keith Crouch (various instruments); Jeremy Lubbock (string arranger); Babyface (acoustic & electric guitars, keyboards, synthesizer, programming, background vocals); Dean Parks (acoustic guitar); Michael Thompson, Reggie Griffin (guitar); Kenny G (saxophone); Greg Phillinganes (piano, Fender Rhodes); Kenneth Crouch (Hammond B-3 organ); Reggie Hamilton, Nathan East (bass); Luis Conte (percussion); Bryce Wilson, Randy Walker, David Foster, Simon Franglen (programming); Marc Nelson, Shanice Wilson, Chante' Moore, Jakkai Butler, Sherree Ford-Payne, Andrea Martin (background vocals).
Producers include: Tony Rich, L.A. Reid, Babyface, Bryce Wilson, David Foster.
Engineers include: Brad Gilderman, Russell Elevado, Brad Gilderman.
"Un-Break My Heart" won a 1997 Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, and "You're Makin Me High" won a 1997 Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. "You're Makin Me High" was also nominated for Best R&B Song, and SECRETS was nominated for Best Pop Album.
Photographer: Randee St. Nicholas.
Toni Braxton is one of the most promising divas of the '90s, with a sophisticated sound and traditional R&B style that puts her in a class with Whitney Houston and Anita Baker. With the help of R&B's leading songwriter, Babyface, she can deliver the perfect love song (such as "Let It Flow," which also appeared on 1995's mega-hit soundtrack WAITING TO EXHALE). SECRETS, her second album, is a soulful journey through her heart.
SECRETS combines Braxton's sultry vocals with the genre's more creative producers. Tony Rich paints the background of "Come On Over Here," Babyface and Groove Theory's Bryce Wilson beef up the track for the hot single "You're Making Me High," and R. Kelly provides the soft bump-and-grind sound for "I Don't Want To."
SECRETS is filled with original material. No samples. No remakes. And with a debut album that earned her the 1994 Grammy for Best New Artist, it is no SECRET that Toni Braxton is destined to repeat her success.