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Bluebird of Happiness

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Artist: Tamar Braxton
Label: LoganLand


Tamar Braxton's first album as an independent artist, following associations with Dreamworks and Epic, arrived with the singer's announcement that it would also be her final full-length. Bluebird of Happiness was presumably made with fewer creative restrictions, yet there's no indication that Braxton was stockpiling left-of-center ideas, as it's a straightforward set of mature commercial R&B. Rodney Jerkins, Troy Taylor, and Vincent Berry are among the collaborators who supply the kind of slick, sophisticated grooves and airy backdrops that have typified Braxton's major-label efforts. As with the likes of Love and War and Calling All Lovers, it's emotionally fraught more frequently than it is content, cresting with the two-timed belter "My Man" and wrenched finale "Empty Boxes." The best of the few throwbacks neatly twists Evelyn King's "Love Come Down." ~ Andy Kellman