Tamar Braxton has recently released her fifth solo album Bluebird of Happiness. As a Tamar fan, I had been waiting on this album and was very excited to hear it. She did not disappoint. If you are easily emotionally influenced by music, or going through issues with a loved one, you may want to listen with caution. The project takes you on an emotional roller coaster with some high highs and very low lows.
The album starts off with the smooth and soulful song “My Forever”. Braxton sings about her significant other over an easy tempo. The song talks about how she knows her lover was the one. She sings, “From the way that you hold me, from the way that you wrap me up in your arms says I’m the only girl, that’s how I know it’s true.” It’s a nice way to start the album. Her vocals are strong and clear. The second track picks up the pace a smidge. In “Wanna Love You Boy” is a sassy song where Braxton tells her man if don’t love her, someone else will. It’s a nice mid-tempo groove that feels good to listen to.
The album adds some fun energy with the next two tracks “Run Run” and Hol’ Up” which features hip hop rap artist Yo Gotti. “Run Run” has a reggae feel to it while “Hol’ Up” has a more hip hop bounce beat. Both songs are fun and aren’t as emotional as others on the album. They also are the most suggestive. In “Run Run” she says, “That loving it taste just like sugar sweet, make him wanna run run. Love every thing I do, bring him to his knees, yea, make the boy dumb dumb.” Clearly about sex. “Hol’ Up” has a similar message.
Her vocals on these two songs aren’t showing her full range. You can tell she was having fun with these tracks, and did not want to overpower them, which she could easily do. If you have ever heard Tamar’s other albums, she always has songs like these on them. Catchy, upbeat, fun to dance to songs that always become my favorites. She has her own style and these two songs really show her personality.
The next few songs take an emotional turn. “The Makings of You”, which is sampled from Gladys Knight & The Pips version, is another doting love song that praises her significant other. “Heart In My Hands”, the next track, is a ballad that describes her lover being in communication with another woman. Her voice is powerful and full of emotion. The emotion continues with “Blind” and “My Man”. Both songs continue the theme of a cheating spouse. She sounds so good vocally, showing her very large range, especially in “Blind”. The song is so emotionally charged that I advise anyone who is going through similar situations to take caution before listening. She will definitely strike a nerve. I’m a single person, but was still brought to tears while listening.
The album picks up speed again with feel-good track “Pick Me Up”, one of my favorites of the project. Braxton energetically sings about her lover and how he boosts her mood when he is around. “You’re my little pick me up whenever I’m feeling down. I don’t need another drug, I got what I need right now”. It’s such a fun song and I always feel like my own mood is boosted after listening to it.
The album ends with two more ballads. This is where the album starts to lose me. “How I Feel” and “Empty Boxes” are beautifully sung tracks that describe more relationship issues that people go through. The problem for me is that, while she sounds great, by the time I get to this part of the album, I’m still emotionally spent from the previous set of ballads so I’m not excited to hear another sad song. That may be the only negative to the album, too many ballads. Five out of 11 is a lot. Maybe she could have balanced it out with a couple more up-tempo tracks.
Overall, I think it’s a great album. She sounds great and you could just about let it play all the way through without skips. Just be careful if you’re going through issues with your significant other. Some of the songs may kick up strong emotions.