Single Review: Toni Braxton “He Wasn’t Man Enough”

He Wasn’t Man Enough
Album: The Heat
Year: 2000

R&B is rife with drama. Cheating lovers, casual sex, wronged best friends, and the list goes on.
On “He Wasn’t Man Enough” Toni Braxton has some drama of her own.

Here’s what going on; she used to date this no-good man, but she “let him go”. Then, she hears a couple years later from the man’s wife that he’s no-good and blaming Toni for it. Anyway, Toni tells the man’s wife to take a look at herself and her husband. Got it?

She has shied away from these songs in the past. Usually, her songs are only about the emotion of heartbreak, not the reasons behind it. However, after “Secrets,” an image makeover was necessary. She had to eventually change or she was going to be pigeonholed. If she had stayed on the AC path, she would be playing it safe. Granted, “Un-break My Heart” was a monstrous hit. However, Diane Warren has written that exact song for other female singers looking to crossover into the Top 40 market.

Produced by Rodney Jerkins and mostly written by him (three other writers are also credited), this is his best single to date. Unlike his work with Brandy, he can branch out with other topics besides crushes and first loves. His only misstep is the advertising of his name in the beginning. Even before any song lyrics are sung, the first word mentioned is “Darkchild.” It’s a tacky ego boost and not to mention, obvious name branding for himself. First, he’s already established himself as a hitmaker and secondly, it’s not about him.

Toni Braxton is bold and an adult during the mini soap opera. She delivers the lyrics with maturity and strength. She handles the quips to the other woman with good taste, i.e., “now it’s time for you know the truth/I think he’s just the man for you.” With lesser singers, the line would’ve been petty. She finally has an image and music that fit her instead of the other way around.

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