Most modern-day female pop singers start their careers doing their sexy, stylish dance-oriented material then settle into a career as an adult contemporary crooner. Toni Braxton didn't follow that route. She started the '90s singing elegant, refined quiet storm ballads and ended it singing sleek dance-pop tunes as she slinked around in skimpy outfits. She wasn't the only one of her peers to follow this trajectory - Mariah Carey pretty much did the same thing, only to the extreme - but it's a little odd to listen to Braxton evolve from the sophisticated urban contemporary crooner to oversexed R&B thrush, even if it's not a bad thing at all. One thing that elevated Braxton above her peers is that she was a controlled, powerful singer who rarely oversang, and she had a good selection of material, much of it written or co-written by Babyface. That's why her 18-track hits collection Ultimate Toni Braxton works well even through her shifts in style - she is a confident enough performer to sell both the slow romantic ballads and material that swings harder. That's not to say that there aren't some slow spots here - the previously unreleased cuts are no great shakes, and sometimes the abundance of slow numbers makes things sound too samey - but she was one of the top urban soul singers of the '90s, and this is the album that illustrates why.
01. Give U My Heart (04:00) 02. Love Shoulda Brought You Home (04:51) 03. Another Sad Love Song (03:49) 04. Breathe Again (04:15) 05. Seven Whole Days (Live) (04:40) 06. You Mean The World To Me (03:59) 07. How Many Ways (04:26) 08. You're Makin' Me High (04:06) 09. Let It Flow (Radio Edit) (04:09) 10. Un-Break My Heart (04:28) 11. I Love Me Some Him (04:36) 12. I Don't Want To (04:17) 13. He Wasn't Man Enough (04:00) 14. Just Be A Man About It (04:16) 15. Hit The Freeway (feat. Loon) (03:47) 16. Watchu Need (Previously Unreleased) (03:38) 17. The Little Things (Previously Unreleased) (04:31) 18. Un-Break My Heart (Soul-Hex Anthem Radio Edit) (03:35)
01. Un-Break My Heart (Frunkie Kunckles Franktidrama Club Mix) (08:38) 02. You're Making Me High (Salaam Remi's Northside Mix) (04:20) 03. How Many Ways (R.Kelly Mix) (05:47) 04. I Don't Want To (Frankie Knuckles Franktified Club Mix) (10:59) 05. Hit The Freeway (Goldtrix Mix) (07:19) 06. He Wasn't Man Enough (Forces Of Nature Mix) (05:50)