The Best You Never Heard: Janet, Toni Braxton, Usher, & Mariah Carey

Published: Tuesday 27th Jul 2010 by Sam

After a brief rest on the bench, our Best You Never Heard feature returns this week with little known gems by Janet Jackson, Toni Braxton, Usher and Mariah Carey.


Janet Jackson – LUV

Produced by Rodney ‘Darkchild’ Jerkins, ‘LUV’ was initially slated to be the follow-up to Janet Jackson’s 2008 comeback smash ‘Feedback’. And with good reason too.

A nod to the infectious, melodic brand of Pop-R&B Ms. Jackson served up on ‘All For You’, ‘LUV’ also boasts an Electro-Pop undertone. An undertone which firmly positions the song in the thick of what’s topping charts today.

While label politics derailed ‘Discipline’ (the album which housed the song), a positive can be sourced from the drama in that it produced one of Janet’s best musical offerings in years. Awesome track. (SAM)



Toni Braxton – Stupid

Although her ‘Libra’ album failed to make a major splash on the charts, Toni Braxton‘s 2005 LP comprised some of her best work. A perfect example is ‘Stupid’ – a dark and lonely ballad about a lover scorned. It is on this track that listeners are reminded of Braxton’s rare contralto and her subtle genius as a songwriter. (TRENT)



Usher – Making Love Into The Night

With Usher currently enjoying a career-resurgence thanks to the success of the Pop-tinged ‘Hey Daddy’ and ‘OMG’, one could be forgiven for thinking that ‘Pop’ is the crooner’s new mainstay.

However, as many a cut on his Platinum-selling ‘Raymond vs Raymond’ LP highlight, the 31 year old can still serve up sizzling Slow Jam. Case, point, example, ‘Making Love Into The Night’.

Produced by Jim Jonsin, and penned by Rico Love, ‘Making Love…’ is simply R&B perfection. A subtle fusing of the past and the present on the production tip, Usher’s vocals ride the beat with ease, sporadically lacing it with his trademark falsetto. More of this, please, Mr Raymond. (SAM)



Mariah Carey – Everything Fades Away

Released as a B-Side to her mega hit Hero, ‘Everything Fades Away’ displays Mariah Carey‘s songwriting skills at their very best. Soulful, passionate and vocally astounding, Carey engages in a riverting interplay with her troop of male background singers to emulate the pain of a dying relationship. Songs like this helped Carey’s ‘Music Box’ to become her best-selling album to date with sales exceeding 30 million worldwide. Diva. (TRENT)



Hit(s) or Miss(es)?

Comments 37

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  1. JJFan1814 July 27, 2010

    LUV could’ve slayed radio.

  2. Randy July 27, 2010

    Heyyy Sam or Trent you have put Toni where the Mariah track should be and Sugababes no more you where Toni is. 🙂

  3. Spunkypoop July 27, 2010

    LUV was my s*** and should have been the SECOND SINGLE off the ALBUM! WTF is up with JANET JACKSON, did she get caught stealing again! lolol.

  4. TheBaddestBitch July 27, 2010

    Yes, Making Love (Into The Night) is a gem

    Should be sent to urban radios: it could be a hit ala TGMB

  5. JJFan1814 July 27, 2010

    Janet caught stealing? Don’t confuse her with Beyonce, Janet doesn’t take claim for tracks she didn’t write. Island Def Jam f***** discipline up after they released Feedback.

  6. Lioness July 27, 2010

    toni braxton and mariah’s listening links are mixed up 🙂

  7. JJFan1814 July 27, 2010

    @Lioness, LOL

    I just tried listening to Mariah’s and I’m like “DIS B**** SOUND LIKE TONI BRAXTON, WTF?”

  8. royalkev July 27, 2010

    Nice Post! Love Janet’s Luv! That was so underrated! For Toni, you guys should have choose “Take this ring” or “Maybe”. I like Usher’s Making love into the Night, but it’s just okay though! Mariah’s song is nice too. I wish you did Slippin away, that was much better.

  9. CrackIsWack July 27, 2010

    Only like the Toni song. The Janet song I’ve already played out.

  10. Fred July 27, 2010

    Love the Mariah Carey song the rest are blah and I am a Janet Jackson and Usher fan.

  11. I {heart} music! July 27, 2010

    He hit me with his LUV…he crashed into my heart! I love this song by Janet Jackson. Its one of the best on the Discipline album which was good but Def Jam screwed her over. Thank God she’s independent now. Like she said in that Essence interview. She’s a free agent and can do whatever she wants! Love her!

  12. TheMan July 27, 2010

    LA really screwed up when he didnt push Luv instead of Rock wit u, it was the strongest song on the cd after feedback

    Stupid find Toni at her BEST, this is why we fell in love with her, underrated cd

    that is one of the HOTTEST songs on Raymond v Raymond, they still had a few more hits(she dont know, fooling around) on the cd they didnt need to rush the re-release

    not really feeling the mariah song

  13. Oprah July 27, 2010

    Mariah’s music used to be so great, now it’s just filled with stupid lyrics like touch my body and boring melodies such as those on Memoirs of an imperfect angel. not to mention the uninspriing covers of great hits eg I wanna know what love is, which is not bad vocals but just lacks the passion & soul in her “old” voice. that explains flop after flop….where’s the old magic in her voice?

    I wish we could have old Mimi back. that’s never gonna happen.

    love LUV! i have never chcked out her discipline album but this songs sounds amazing!

  14. SEAN2010 July 27, 2010




  15. Soulful Roses July 27, 2010

    All songs had potential. Loved them all 🙂

  16. Spunkypoop July 27, 2010

    lmao @ JJFan1814 That’s actually a song called “Janet Jackson Caught stealing” it’s an inside joke. lolol. JANET never stole and YES BEYONCE STEALS all the time. Im soooo SICK of her THiefing Ass…..ANybody agree with me here?

  17. smartee July 27, 2010

    Janet’s song “Luv” is so refreshing, loud, and very urban crossover. I love the melodies, beat, and the lyrics. I just can’t stand her. She’s old and played out. I don’t think people take the majority of listener’s ear for music when judging songs as a single though. Even though it’s a great upbeat song, something like this, even a couple years ago, would have failed horribly on the charts because it wasn’t “IN.” It sounds like something that would have done good in 2000, 2001, or 2002.

    Toni’s song is very nice and her voice is phenomenal.

    Usher’s song is actually pretty good. This is better than that ghetto and bubblegum sh** he’s been releasing now-a-days!

    Mariah’s song seriously almost made me cry. I had to stop playing it because it would feel weird for me just crying out of the blue. DAMN! Nothing compares to her voice, especially back then! It was so emotional, soulful, angelic, but powerful! I STILL HAVE YET TO HEAR A SINGER, FAMOUS OR NOT, SING AS BEAUTIFULLY AND EMOTIONAL AS MARIAH HAS! She has created and recreated some of THE BEST SONGS OF ALL TIME! She’s been able to reinvent her music to fit the popular genre styles that occur every few years, but now it’s gotten too bubblegum and immature.

  18. tonya July 27, 2010

    Janet’s luv is my s***. Janet wanted it to be the second single but L.A. Reid wanted rock wit u to be the second single….i hate l.a. Reid. I’m glad she left them.

  19. Topman July 27, 2010

    Good comment Smartee, this is an example of Mariah having some of the most intimate and heartfelt songs of any singer since she arrived on the scene. Much more so than her rivals, likely to do with her involvement in the production. I just think Island Def Jam have been pushing her in the wrong direction (ever since working with The-Dream, eww). She needs to find a label which gives her more freedom i.e. in terms of picking sngles.

  20. JACOB FLORES July 27, 2010

    So glad you chose Everything Fades Away. Emotionally and lyrically very powerful. Definitely in my top 5 Mariah songs…

    Let’s see if I can narrow them down:
    1.) Outside
    2.) Underneath the Stars
    3.) Slipping Away
    4.) Everything Fades Away
    5.) Vanishing

    I understand many lambs hate when people say this, but I’m hoping with all my might that she’ll one day work with Walter Afanasieff again. Of course, I adore Mariah’s ability to think outside the box and work with a variety of producers, but there’s just something about Walter and Mariah that created pure magic. i.e. the songs above.

    Still, I wish her the best and look forward to whatever she plans to put out.

  21. ADE July 27, 2010

    LUV is a f****** tune! I even preferred it to Feedback, she really should have released it. People had a lot of love for that song.

  22. En Ranc July 27, 2010

    They all suck. Especially that lame ass Janet Jackson song. Which BTW was released, and flopped. No one’s checking for Janet these days, she’s old hat.

  23. Control1814 July 27, 2010

    WAYMENTTT. Janet wanted Luv to be the second single, But LA Reid said he would stop promoting the album if she didn’t release Rock With U as the second single. He’s a MORON and a FAIL cause that song would have slayed the RADIO.

  24. Mikw July 27, 2010

    DAMN IT Mariah can saaaang.

    She had this way of being so tender and then unleashing power in the matter of seconds unlike most singers who are either or!!!!

    Look up her other song There for me…

  25. ~TeAM WeeZY~ July 27, 2010

    Janet Jackson’s “LUV” is probably my favorite song by her! And probably one of my fav songs ever because the beat is sick and the melodies/harmonies are so damn awesome! I’m glad they didn’t release this to radio because other idiots would have been all over it and played it out! LOVE LOVE LOVE this song!!!

    Usher’s “Making Love” is one of my favs also. I love that song! It’s so R&B! I like the entire album. “Mars Vs. Venus” is my SHIZNIT! Now, that’s probably one of my fav songs of 2010. LOVE IT! And LOVE me some USHER! <3

  26. Brendon July 28, 2010

    Everything Fades Away……Beautiful from Miss Mariah!! We absolutely miss this version of MC.

  27. sarah.rail July 28, 2010

    This is in response to Oprah’s comment

    I disagree with Oprah’s comment. I actually found Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel to sound more like Mariah’s Old work. Only about 4 tracks out of the 17 had the whole hiphop sound which is much better than the emancipation of mimi which was mostly very hip-hop sounding album. Also memoirs had hardly no rappers in it except for obsessed remix but Emancipation of mimi had pharrell, snoop, fatman scoop etc

    Also Imperfect Angel was co-produced by the dream which is more RnB sounding and RnB focused while Emancipation of Mimi was co-produced by Jermaine Dupri who is more rap and hip-hop focused and very commercially packaged.

    Most people Love Emancipation of Mimi album as it was very commercial and heavily promoted in the right way but for myself as a huge Mariah fan for 17 years now and owning every album. I was abit disappointed on her Emancipation of Mimi album as i felt like she sold out on that album and did the whole Ii want to be in the top charts again so i am releasing a more commercially accepted album.

    I am more proud of her work that she did with Memoirs of imperfect angel as the songs she has in Memoirs of imperfect angel are more personal and less commercial. It’s like she did that Album for herself and not to be number 1 again.

    My ultimate favorite song from Memoirs is Angels Cry. It really is beautiful song and i think it can give We belong together and one sweet day a run for it’s money. I highly suggest searching Angels Cry on Youtube for those of you who haven’t heard of it. It really is beautiful.

    My point is that Mariah Was trying to go back to the sound she started with Imperfect Angel. I also think that success of the Mariah albums and what determines as a flop has nothing to do with her work being different to her earlier albums as Emancipation of Mimi Is one of her most hip-hop sounding Albums and it’s a very commercial non personal album for Mariah yet it’s one of her biggest albums EVER!!

    I am also a Janet & Toni braxton fan.

    Moving on.. In general i think the main Reasons why Janet, Toni and Mariah Have been doing Flops lately is because the record company has alot to do with it. I think the right promotion and advertising and picking the right singles has alot to do with if an album does well or not.

    Big example again with Mariah’s Emancipation of Mimi Album. How great was her record company in promoting that album. I saw Emancipation of Mimi Posters Everywhere and i saw alot of TV advertising & Mariah herself did alot of interviews, appearances and promo work and this was before the album was even released!!! the single choices were also spot on for the mainstream market.

    Then with her newest album which is memoirs of an imperfect Angel. I have not seen any promo work at all for that album and it’s like as if Mariah has been in hiding. I know as a fan it is mainly because she is now focused on being married.

    How do you expect it to not be a flop when there is no promo or advertising work? Not to mention the single choices were very poor for that Album.

    I think the same can be said with Janet & Toni as well. I know Janet has personally come out and said she has had trouble with getting support from her record company with promo’s and poor single choices. With Toni.. I am a fan of hers but not huge fan that i follow her news so i don’t even know if she has any albums that’s come out. meaning Very poor promo work done by her record company. I would buy toni’s album if i knew when it’s released but i don’t even know if she has had any new material that came out in the last 5 years. That is my point.

    I just think ALOT has to do with the record companies and i do not think that Janet, Toni or Mariah are at fault if the album flops. They are all very talented and i kind of wish this was the 90’s again where they all had the recognition and respect they had back then instead of the stupid one’s being recognized today.

  28. Facts Officer July 28, 2010

    MARIAH can write AND sang!

    if that doesn’t make her the greatest, I don’t know what does.

  29. yung_bro July 28, 2010

    ^Somebodies a little long winded^

  30. HERE FOR MIMI, BEE & RIRI July 28, 2010

    Usher song is great. One of my favourites on Raymond v Raymond. Along with Lil freak Guitly, More and There Goes my baby

    Janet’s LUV is my sh!t. This screamed 2nd single!!!! Jeez, LA Reid go smoke something. Perhaps you’ll learn how to pick the RIGHT singles

    Toni;s voice is fantastic in Stupid. The music in this song is so emotive.

    Mariah’s Everything Fades Away is the best of the bunch and screams what Mariah is capable of: Huge Vocals, Amazing Music, Emotive lyrics. Mariah honey you need to work with Walter ASAP sweety. Memoirs of an imprefect angel was not a Mariah album, it was a fycking The dream album. The dream sucks. God I hate LA Reid

  31. LovelyT28 July 28, 2010

    I’ve always liked Toni Braxton’s song, “Stupid”, when I first heard it five years ago. That song should have been released as a single and promoted, it’s the Toni Braxton that I knew and liked for years. Mariah’s song was wonderful and Janet’s song was hot to death. I really didn’t care too much for Usher’s song though.

  32. Luv-Lee July 28, 2010


    As everyone already stated, Janet wanted to release LUV as a single but LA REID made her release Rock wit u. Not sure why though. LUV was the obvious choice for a second single. Rock wit u could have been the very LAST single released from the album. Ironically it was, but not the way it should have been. LA REID made the wrong decision.

    I always find it weird that some of my most favorite songs don’t seem to make the album. That is especially true for Janet. Unreleased tracks are the best tracks IMO.

  33. ЯƏCONSTʁUCT THA ⒾNDUSTRYY;; July 28, 2010

    Janet- A legend/icon
    Toni-Great voice
    Usher-Soon to be legend

    However, Im not as big a fan of “Making Love into the Night” as I am “Mars V.S. Venus”! That song is amazing and he has a great arrangement on it as well. I’d really like to see duet with Monica again or maybe Brandy this time around
    Janet & Mariah are two of our greatest recording artists of all time. Love both songs but “Everything Fades Away” was dynamic. Another great song of theirs is “You Need Me” by Janet Jackson and “There’s Got to Be A Way” by Mariah Carey.
    Btw, “take this Ring” Toni was also a really good song

  34. MISS PIGGY July 30, 2010

    yes! LUV could have been a big hit if promoted properly…. recording companies are just too busy focusing on new artists nowadays. sad.

  35. Anita August 2, 2010

    wow yes you are absolutely right about mariah’s everything fades away. This is just brilliant and had to be a single but hey, if we turn to THAT topic…I can feel the migrate pain again…haha

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