Well, Whitney Houston is off the crack-pipe and back in business. On September 1st, the pop diva will release I Look to You, her first full-length studio album in six years. This definitely one of the most anticipated comebacks in recent history, so the pressure is on for the former Mrs. Bobby Brown.
The good news: Her voice, albeit raspy, sounds strong and soulful on I Didn't Know My Own Strength, the first single from her upcoming release.
The bad news: The song is bland and weighed downed by pop cliches. Diane Warren has penned an underwhelming debut for Ms. Houston and I cannot imagine this song taking her to the top of the charts, pending an promotional overhaul from her record label and Clive Davis. The most disappointing aspect of the track is the weakness of the chorus. Give the song a listen, wait fifteen minutes, and call me on the phone. I'll ask you to sing the chorus. You'll struggle. It's that simple.
The track could be really spectacular if it delved into the dark times Whitney has gone through with some specificity. Instead of just saying, "I got through all the pain," "survived my darkest hour," etc., which are vague descriptions at best, she could really let loose regarding her failed marriage or drug problems. Unfortunately, pandering to pop radio restricts those themes, which is a shame.
I'm pulling for you, Whitney. I want your album to be a hit. However, if this is the best you can come up with, then perhaps your "darkest hour" is still on the horizon.
Rating: 2/5 stars, based solely on her voice