Review: Whitney Houston | I Look to You

Arista (2009)
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  September 9, 2009
2.5 2.5 Stars


It's tempting to wonder whether super-producer Clive Davis, in another of his music-biz machinations, arranged for Whitney Houston to whiff last week on Good Morning America, which is reported to have altered Houston's vocals for broadcast after she sounded hoarse during her Central Park mini-concert. After all, the resultant on-line outcry slots right into the embattled-diva comeback narrative Davis has built around I Look to You, Houston's first album since 2002.

If people were beginning to forget about Bobby Brown and crack cocaine, then Houston needed something new to push back against. As it happens, the best parts of I Look to You don't require any context. Opener "Million Dollar Bill" is a delirious disco-soul jam from the desk of Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz; it probably cost Davis a million-dollar bill of his own, but it was almost worth it.

And Houston's version of Leon Russell's American Idol staple "A Song for You" works up to a deliciously cheesy club-pop climax. Still, with a pair of "I Believe I Can Fly"–style contributions from R. Kelly and a blustery Diane Warren ballad called "I Didn't Know My Own Strength," there's no denying the message that I Look to You was designed to hammer home. Expect fresh drama soon.

Related: Mirror ball, Photos: Madonna at the Garden, Review: Akon | Freedom, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Celebrity News, Entertainment, Music Stars,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS | FURTHER  |  July 07, 2010
    Astralwerks (2010)
  •   DEVO | SOMETHING FOR EVERYBODY  |  July 01, 2010
    Given the theory of de-evolution these Ohio brainiacs began expounding more than 30 years ago, it makes a sad kind of sense that Devo's first album since 1990's Smooth Noodle Maps offers such a charmless, base-level version of the band's synth-addled new wave.
  •   TAIO CRUZ | ROKSTARR  |  June 24, 2010
    When Taio Cruz sings, "I can't live without you," in "Take Me Back," pop-song conventions tell us he's referring to a lover.
  •   THE FUTUREHEADS | THE CHAOS  |  June 16, 2010
    "I wish that I could stop the noise," sings Barry Hyde not long into The Chaos . It sure doesn't seem that way.
    Bettye LaVette’s previous two albums had titles that required a little digging to unpack.

 See all articles by: MIKAEL WOOD