Artist: Whitney Houston
Album: I Look To You
Release date: August 28
After a 7-year hiatus, Whitney Houston is back with I Look To You. I will try and make this review focus more on the music than on the person, even tough it’s hard. But, we all know the story from the debut to the breakdown and break-up.
The album begins promisingly with the elegantly ebullient “Million Dollar Bill”, written by Alicia Keys and produced by Swizz Beatz, the track is the perfect comeback single for Ms. Houston. Sadly, the album only goes downhill afterwards, there is not one track that rivals the opener’s successful formula and charm. “Nothin’ But Love” is a shout-out to almost everybody, from her teachers to her haters. The song feels cold and is overridden by the beat, which leaves Houston’s vocals in the background. The title track “I Look To You” –written by R. Kelly- serves as the album’s centerpiece, it has Whitney doing what she does best, belts out. It’s not the same anymore; her voice is not as strong as it used to be. But, that’s very understandable, given the circumstances. Whitney takes Leon Russel’s classic “A Song For You” to whole new heights with the help of Norwegian production team Stargate. After starting out slowly, the song evolves into a club banger, which takes to some getting used to. The Dianna Warren penned “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength” is a safe simple ballad. This is my favorite ballad on the album, Whitney’s emotions shine throughout the song. The album conclude with a favorite of mine, another R. Kelly written track “Salute” -which sounds like a rewrite of Rihanna’s “Take A Bow”- featuring rich production and a scornful bridge (“Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years”). While the voice is not there anymore, I Look To You is still a fine album, and a reminder that Whitney is still a force to reckon with.