THE DAILY RECORD
Braxton to perform in Newark
Tamar Braxton and Toni Braxton are singing sisters, but they certainly have their differences. Toni Braxton, who is nine years her sister’s senior, is laidback and gentle. Her younger sibling is a pistol on stage, on television and during interviews.
Tamar Braxton, 37, who will perform Saturday at Newark Symphony Hall, is fiery, funny and flamboyant. It’s not surprising that the glamorous vocalist is a reality television star (‘‘Braxton Family Values,’’ “Tamar & Vince’’).
However, it is surprising she is back as a recording artist. After experiencing a commercial letdown with her debut album, “Tamar,’’ which dropped in 2000, who could have guessed that Braxton would make another album, “Love and War,” which was released last September?
“I needed to get over the experience of my first album,” Braxton said while calling from Silver Springs, Maryland. “I never felt that album represented me. I couldn’t sing the songs I wanted to sing. I wanted to make an album this time that really captured the essence of me. I was finally able to write the songs that I wanted to write.”
Most of the songs on the tepid “Tamar,’’ were hand-selected for Braxton by Dreamworks. “It felt like a karaoke album,” Braxton said. “That experience wasn’t exactly what I dreamed of when I thought about what it would be like to make an album.”
However, Braxton is satisfied with the catchy, moving R&B on “Love and War.’’ There are nine Braxton co-writes and she belts out the array of love songs with passion. “I was inspired with this album,” Braxton said. “I had something vital that I wanted to get out of me.”
Much of that was inspired by the relationship with her husband Vince Herbert.
“We’ve been through a lot,” Braxton said. “When Vince got sick, things changed. There was a lot to deal with but things moved to another level and that impacted me as a person, an entertainer and as a writer. The passion I have for him and life came out in the songs.”
What you see is what you get with Braxton. That’s the reason her music and her reality television series work.
“I think you can see whether a person is real or not on reality television or in music,” Braxton said. “But you can see with me that I’m honest.’’
“That’s the way I’m wired,’’ Braxton continued. “I’m absolutely honest on ‘Tamar and Vince.’ People saw that particularly after we had our baby. It was difficult for me that I didn’t connect right away with our baby and Vince did connect. I was upset about that. It was apparent to anyone that watched. I can’t hide who I am but I think that’s a good thing in the world of entertainment.”
As for entertaining, whether onstage or off, “For me it’s a natural thing,” Braxton added. “I tell it like it is, whether you like it or not.”