After a seven year hiatus from recording any music, Whitney Houston, “The Voice”, is back with “I Look to You.” Drugs, rehab, and a messy divorce behind her, it’s good to see Houston back on her feet with a redemption album. Other reviews of this album have been quick to point out that Houston herself has returned, “The Voice” however has not. That’s not exactly a fair assessment. I’m hard-pressed to think of any one with a voice that could rival Houston in her prime. Houston can still belt out notes, perhaps not quite as high as she used to, but powerfully none the less.

Artist:Whitney Houston
Album:I Turn to You
Label: Arista
Release date:August 31
★★★☆

“Million Dollar Bill”, the funky opener to the album, Houston sets out with something to prove. The first two notes she lets out are long and loud, but it feels like she’s trying too hard to remind everyone of her vocal prowess.

Houston sounds more like her old self on songs “Call You Tonight” and “I Look to You.” The title track is exactly the kind of ballad that you expect her to try and overdo it on, but she sings it with the appropriate vocal strength and the result is a very pretty song instead of a shouted, cringe-worthy ballad.

“I Didn’t Know My Own Strength” is by far the best song and should be released as a single. It’s the kind of song that would definitely resonate the most with Houston’s fans with the eerily autobiographical lyrics: “and I crashed down/ and I tumbled/ but I did not crumble/ I got through all the pain/ I didn’t know my own strength/ survived my darkest hour/ my faith kept me alive/ picked myself back up/ held my head up high, I was not built to break.” Houston sings a bit lower than she used to, but with confidence instead of attempting some vocal gymnastics.

What really holds this album back from being the kind of comeback that just bowls you over, is a few throwaway numbers. “Like I Never Left”, features Akon but despite his influence the songs still sounds like a clichƒ© R&B track straight out of the “Ëœ90’s .

Another song, “Worth It”, is a rather presumptuous song on her part: “I know somebody’s gonna make love to this song tonight.”

If Houston gets anything out of making this album, hopefully it’s the confidence to once again reign as “The Voice.”

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