Toni Braxton’s “Secrets.”

Released: June 18, 1996

Label: LaFace/Arista

Genre: R&B

Producer: Babyface, Keith Crouch, David Foster, R. Kelly, L.A. Reid, Tony Rich, Soulshock & Karlin and Bryce Wilson.


We called her the First Lady of LaFace. She was our diva. Clive had Whitney, Tommy had Mariah, and we had Toni. -L.A. Reid.

L.A. was totally correct. Toni Braxton was the First Lady of LaFace. Bursting onto the R&B scene in the early 90s, Toni’s debut album was a large success, selling over 8 million records in the United States alone. Toni also earned Grammys for Best New Artist & Best Female R&B vocal performance two years in a row. Toni was definitely here to stay.

Toni’s sophomore album Secrets dropped before the summer of 1996. The album was a commercial success, selling over 15 million worldwide, & over 8 million in the United States alone. A R&B album with elements of hip hop, quiet storm, jazz and soul, Toni avoids the “sophomore slump” with the guidance & assistance of her musical soulmate Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds on the majority of Secrets. The album was nominated for Best Pop Album at the 1997 Grammy Awards. Secrets is definitely one of the best albums in the past two decades, and Toni’s magnum opus. The First Lady of LaFace meant business.

Ladies & gentlemen, I present to you: Toni Braxton’s “Secrets.”

Come On Over Here

Written by Antonio Jeffries, Marc Nelson & Darrell Spencer

The album opens with the upbeat & groovy R&B record Come On Over Here. Toni is expressing to a potential lover that he needs to bring it on to her if he wants to be loved the way he should be loved. Period Pooh!

You’re Makin’ Me High

Written by Kenneth Edmonds & Bryce Wilson

The lead single from the album is a classic. It’s brilliant, showstopping & fucking flawless. You’re Makin’ Me High is a masterpiece created by Babyface & Bryce Wilson from Groove Theory fame.

Lyrically, the song discusses how stimulated the singer gets being around the person she’s attracted to or when she fantasizes about them. The song was Toni’s first number one record on the Billboard Hot 100 & R&B/Hip-Hop charts. A whole song has been covered by The Whispers and sampled by Method Man & Redman.

The remix of You’re Makin’ Me High featured my girl THEEE Foxy Brown. 😭😭😩🙌🏾

There’s No Me Without You

Written by Kenneth Edmonds

The album’s follow up record is a mellow ballad with the singer speaking how she cannot function without the love of her significant other.

Un-Break My Heart

Written by Diane Warren

It’s always the songs that the artist didn’t care for initially that become the blockbuster hit. The somber ballad Un-Break My Heart was pinned by legendary songwriter Diane Warren, telling the tale of a person who is distraught with heartbreak, & she longs for him to return & undo the pain he caused.

Toni expressed how much she disliked the song because she didn’t want another heartbreak song. Nevertheless she was convinced to do so, & thank God. It is considered to be her signature song, & won her a Grammy award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

Un-Break My Heart peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, & stayed there for eleven weeks. It was the background vocals from Shanice & Toni for me! 😩💆🏾‍♂️😭❤️

Talking In His Sleep

Written by Toni Braxton

Can you keep a secret?

My favorite song on the album!!! 😩 Talking In His Sleep tackles adultery, & the double standards that takes place when men cheat on their significant others and when women cheat, it’s a totally different story.

The perfect album cut.

How Could an Angel Break My Heart featuring Kenny G

Written by Kenneth Edmonds & Toni Braxton

I love to call Babyface and Toni musical soulmates, because they just..get it. It’s like they are one. The duo teamed up together to write this gem from the Secrets album. With Kenny G on the saxophone, Toni questions how the perfect man can possibly hurt her and break her heart. Story of my life, so I feel you sis. 🥴

Find Me a Man

Written by Kenneth Edmonds

Find Me a Man is basically a song where the singer longs for a man who’ll be sensitive to her needs and wants, & not be prideful when it comes to love.

Let It Flow

Written by Kenneth Edmonds

Originally featured on the Soundtrack to the 1995 film Waiting to Exhale, Let It Flow was released as a B-Side to You’re Makin’ Me High since it was already receiving heavy airplay on the radio. It peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 & R&B charts, and was one of the best selling single of 1996…being certified platinum by the RIAA.

Let It Flow is my national anthem. The lyrics explain how you have to let go of everything/everyone that’s causing you hurt and pain in your life. In the song, Toni is optimistic that everything will be alright. Let go, & let it flowwwwwww, let it flow, let ittttt flow!

Why Should I Care

Written by Kenneth Edmonds

WHY SHOULD I CARE IS MY HIGHLIGHT OF SECRETS! Definitely one of my favorite Toni songs, because everything about this song is flawless. It is truly a crime how this song wasn’t released as a single.

Lyrically, the song speaks of why should she go back down the same road with a former lover. I just adore this song so much. From the production to the background vocals from THEEEE Chanté Moore, Marc Nelson & Toni. It’s just whewwwww. 🙌🏾

I Don’t Want To

Written by Robert Kelly

While deciding if I wanted to do an album revisit of Secrets, I strongly was against incorporating this song in the review because…R. Kelly. However, this is about Toni, so I’ll keep the focus on that. Anyways..

I Don’t Want To tells the tale of the singer not wanting to do anything since she doesn’t have the love of her life anymore. Released as a single alongside “I Love Me Some Him,” the songs peaked in the top ten on the Billboard R&B charts. The song was sampled by Gerald Levert on Men Like Us.

I Love Me Some Him

Written by Andrea Martin, Gloria Stewart, Kenneth Karlin & Carsten Schack.

If this song doesn’t get you excited about your man, throw him away! This is another one of my highlights from Secrets.

In the Late of Night

Written by Kenneth Edmonds and Jonathan Buck.

The album closes with the somber, yet exhilarating ballad In The Late of Night. You get sort of a scenery at nighttime when the song begins, along with the sound of crickets and an owl in the background, with a piano and saxophone (courtesy of Kenny G).

Toni sings of her lover breaking her heart with his lies and breaking promises, especially during the night time. This is truly a beautiful yet heartbreaking song at the same time. There is a hidden track after the end titled Toni’s Secrets, but it is complete silence.

Toni Braxton is a living legend who deserves her flowers every single day. As of today, she has sold over 70 million records worldwide and is one of the highest-selling R&B ladies in history. Secrets is one of Toni’s greatest successes, and proof that she has earned her seat at the table of legends. -MJ.

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