The Braxtons

So Many Ways

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The Braxtons are the siblings of contemporary soul superstar Toni Braxton, so it doesn't come as much of a surprise that their debut album, So Many Ways, is quite similar to the sound of their sister. What is a surprise is how effective the music is. Much of the credit should go to superstar producers like LA Reid, Rod Temperton, Daryl Simmons, and Jermaine Dupri, who craft and select songs that downplay the group's weaknesses and accentuate their virtues -- this is expertly crafted urban soul. So Many Ways does sag in momentum, but that's only because the record is too long -- with some judicious editing, this record could have been even more impressive. Nevertheless, So Many Ways is a strong debut from a group that defied the odds and became something more than curiosities.

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