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Music Review: Whitney Houston – I Look To You

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Triumphant, occasionally upbeat, and drenched in hope and optimism, Whitney Houston’s long-awaited new album, I Look To You (Arista Records) is a fantastic statement record that is testament to the veteran entertainer’s matchless talent and her survival in an industry that can be as cruel and unforgiving as it is rewarding and life-changing.

At 46, Houston’s voice has lost much of its luster, but it is still commanding and penetrating enough to keep listeners interested in what she has to say. After a seven-year absence, marked by her split from longtime hubby Bobby Brown, Houston’s musical message is overwhelmingly one of gratitude, self-empowerment, courage, strength and wisdom.

Blending youthful energy with mature introspection on this, her seventh studio album, Houston is understandably overjoyed to be back with a supportive team behind her and music in her heart. Led by executive producer and mentor Clive Davis, a production squad – comprising hitmakers Akon, Stargate, Harvey Mason Jr., and Nate ‘Danja’ Hills, among others – fills the 11-track album with numerous R&B and dance-pop highlights.

Nobody does the confident-sounding ballad better than Houston, considered one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time, and whose performances on The Bodyguard soundtrack assured it a place in musical history. On the self-assessing “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength,” penned by award-winning songwriter Diane Warren, Houston isn’t at her pitch-perfect best, but her vulnerability and determination are readily accessible. She takes a similar approach on the touching and plaintive title track, written by R. Kelly, who also contributed “Salute,” a standout single driven by a marching beat.

The other tracks on the album seize attention – some with their relentless dancefloor slant, others with their unswerving, positive energy. But the common thread that binds them? A mix of catchy melodies and infectious grooves. Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz contributed “Million Dollar Bill,” a bouncy number about the joy of being in love, while Akon worked on “I Got You” and “Like I Never Left,” two simmering tracks that speak to trust and devotion.

Although I Look To You is not the classic Whitney many of us grew up on, it is nevertheless a solid release from one of the most celebrated and influential singers of our time. At this stage, you can’t get more than that.

DOWNLOAD: “Million Dollar Bill,” “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength,” “Nothin’ But Love” and “I Got You”

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About TYRONE S REID - Tallawah

  • Butch

    Weird dat most critics are saying Whitney lost her voice, I actually think it sounds much better *(MATURE)* she sold 400,000 da 1st week speaks volumes, with video or too much advertising. Hmmmm? I smell HATERS hahahaha, leave this sister alone, and let her do, what GOD sent her here to do… *(HINT)* Sing!!! The CD is phenomenal I recommend it to anyone who is into positivity, upbeat and feel good music. If u r down-trodden, then this CD aint 4 u.

  • toddio

    whitney sounds WONDERFUL….love the positive vibe of this album….you can tell she worked hard on it…I am so proud of her…can’t wait for the next album ALREADY!!! She really is our “true voice”…AT&T …..how about picking that marketing back up from the early 90’s…she could do the whole thing again????

  • Vetchking

    I am amazed at how cheap the album sounds. I happen to love Whitney. This album sounds like it’s made at someones house. The clap sounds suck, the cheap drum machine is all over the place. Yuck. It sounds steril.
    Keep in mind this woman has the power of Clive Davis behind her. That’s power.

    Where’s the Beef. Please call me next time you need to re-launch a major global star like Whitney………… I won’t make a cheap sounding digital album. I’ll make sure there are instruments and musicians on it and Whitney will shine…….. I am so sad over this. [personal contact info deleted] …….. I’m ready. LOL. Man what a waste…. Again I love her.What a waste of time and money. Just watched the making of Sgt. Pepper. There’s the difference.

  • anonymous
  • Nichelle

    I think Whitney sounds amazing.I wish people would let her pass alone and look towards her future. God Be with you Whtiney!

  • Bambang Suyanto

    I just bought this album, now still listen. I loved Whitney Houstan, have complete CDs. I like “For the Lovers” and “I Look To You”. The beat is different, not so classic, a bit modern. Just like Akon and Alicia Keys. Welcome back, Whitney… I’m dreaming of your concert in my Jakarta, Indonesia.

  • mee

    This is not the whitney we know. What happened to the woman that sang I will always love you?? I miss that voice!

  • Michael

    It’s been five months now since the album was released, and it pretty much faded just before Christmas. Without any noted appearances except the BET Honors (few white people there), she still has a lot of catching up to do do get back with the elite of today’s industry- no Grammy nominations.