Love, Marriage & Divorce

With its marital arguments, dramatic plot reversals and luxurious exteriors, this collaboration between two accomplished R&B sensualists is like a musical adaptation of Real Housewives of Atlanta. Both singers have been through failed marriages, and they know what it sounds like when love goes sour: "I hope she gives you a disease," Braxton seethes in the piano ballad "I Wish." The story bounces between rage and hopefulness before ending (spoiler alert!) in divorce. Few records have described marriage with so much honesty and complexity. Whatever you do, don't give this as an engagement present.

From The Archives Issue 1208: May 8, 2014