Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Houston's release - 'It's not right but it's OK'
Whitney Houston’s long awaited album, “I Look to You,” is not right, but it’s OK. The album took two years to complete and features a variety of tempos, beats and sounds. Many critics are generously calling the album a comeback, but I disagree.
“I Look To You” was a disappointment on many levels. To say the least it fell short of comeback status. In no way am I discrediting Houston’s talent or past achievements. If an “I wanna dance with somebody remix” comes on in a club - I will be the first person on the dance floor. This album however, does not feature the same Houston we have all grown to love.
A comeback album should:
• Re-establish an artist’s current fan base and create new fans
• Draw on success from the past
• Remind fans that the genre is not complete without the artist
Simply put, a comeback should say to the world, “I still got it.”
Based on Houston’s reputation, “I Look To You” is much weaker vocally. Fans will hear a voice that is distinctly different, much lower and limited in terms of range.
Listeners will not hear Houston’s superior vocals from her self titled debut album with hits like, “Saving all my love” and “How will I know.”
Comeback is not the best way to evaluate Houston’s work. She says herself in Salute, the closing track on the album, “Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years.”
I wanted to hear vocal belting anthems like, “I will always love you,” and “I’m every woman.” As a Houston fan I was rooting for her comeback, but am overall disappointed.
If “I look to you,” was released by a new pop artist, most listeners would disregard it as a weak attempt for a debut album. Critics have been too yielding on the release. Even if fans evaluate the album with a new lens, separate from the expectations of the younger Houston, the album is just OK.