Whitney Houston’s new album was released on Aug. 31, just so it could qualify for this year’s Grammy Awards. (I blogged about it a couple weeks ago.) The album seems to have been rushed — they didn’t even manage to get track titles on the disc.
Those of you who have known me since the 80s know I’m a diehard Whitney fan.
My message to Whitney:
I used to look to you.
Unfortunately, her great talent as gone largely unused for decades.
Fortunately, she’s managed to pull herself together enough to release a new album.
You can certainly hear the mature Whitney voice — a bit deeper, a bit tired and scratchy, but still rich, powerful and pleasingly soulful. Thanks to the advancements in recording technology — editing, auto tuning and such — she sounds pretty good for what I’ve heard she’s been through.
I have my favorites: I Didn’t Know My Own Strength (although I like the version I was emailed a few weeks back better than the version on the album), I Look to You, and Like I Never Left (with Akon). She even does a pretty good job with the standard, A Song For You. I like the slow intro and up-tempo treatment. But I think Elliot Yamin’s version is even better.
The album photography is impressive. Whitney looks good. But who wouldn’t with that kind of money and support system behind them?
As far as R&B albums go, it’s contemporary. It’s also safe; nothing too trendy, or out there.
Whitney’s in a different position now: too young to be a gracefully aging diva and too old to compete with fresh new, young talent.
Despite all the personal baggage she’s sporting, I’ll likely always enjoy listening to her recordings. I’d be surprised if I was impressed with a live performance, but I wouldn’t want to miss out on the possibility if the opportunity presented itself.
I Look To You will be on my iPod and enjoyed along with a couple hundred other Whitney recordings. So thanks, Whitney, for 11 more new tracks to add variety to my Whitney Houston collection.