Album Review: I Look To You by Whitney Houston


Upon hearing the first two leaks from Whitney Houston's highly-anticipated album I Look To You, there may have been some initial concern that the diva's comeback would be littered with far too many sentimental, mildly cheesy ballads. Luckily, "I Didn't Know My Own Strength" and the title track aren't necessarily representative of the project as a whole and work quite lovely within context. This ain't no snorefest, crackheads!

From the get go, Alicia Keys and producer Swizz Beatz help Whitney get into the groove with "Million Dollar Bill". Though the sound isn't quite contemporary, it's easily one of the best tracks on the album, with the artist's slightly weathered vocals and production meshing effortlessly (or at least seemingly so).

Surprisingly, the album keeps up this momentum until the last four tracks. Though songs such as "Calling You Tonight" and "Like I Never Left" may receive criticism for being formulaic, they're completely inoffensive and quite pleasant within the collection. Houston's cover of Leon Russell's "A Song For You" may sound like a bad fan-made dance mix, but then redemption follows on the aforementioned power ballad "I Didn't Know My Own Strength". Up until that song's end, you're almost convinced that the pop album has returned to its glory days.

Then "Worth It" comes in, a tune that sounds like it was snatched from Keyshia Cole's scraps. "For The Lovers" attempts to wake up the listener by urging them to throw their hands in the air, but it's more likely that you'll want to fold your hands, rest your head on them and take a nap. It doesn't get much better from there.

However, focusing on the negative points of this album would be a shame, especially considering that Whitney and the suits have explicitly chosen to ignore those aspects of her personal life. If this were a Mary J. Blige album, fans would complain that their well-loved singer had gotten "too happy". But this isn't a Mary J. Blige album. Whitney Houston is known for her positivity rather than her pain, with soaring ballads like "The Greatest Love Of All" and dance numbers like "I Wanna Dance With Somebody", so it's no surprise that the first step to publicly solving her problems is to sing about how she's already over them. And honestly? That sounds like the best strategy for her right now.

– Dewitt

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