8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Return of the Diva, Aug 28 2009
Considering all that she's been through over the past decade, the fact that she's pulled herself together and released any music at all would have likely been significant enough to merit a "comeback". However, this album is not just any music - this is Whitney at her diva best. For fans of her critically acclaimed "My Love Is Your Love" album, this will be welcomed into your collection with enthusiasm.
Whitney Houston, at one time, possessed the most incomprehensibly astonishing voice in modern pop history. She could belt and trill and riff and run with such ease that it, at times, could seem otherworldly. Countless popstars would be influenced by her style, from Mariah Carey to Beyonce, to Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson, etc ad nauseum. She is a singular force in pop music when it comes to THAT VOICE.
What I always thought was her greatest strength, however, was not that she could hold a note for 20 seconds or skip up to her highest falsetto without the slightest effort. No, I have always believed that Whitney's greatest strength lied in her phrasing, her lyrical interpretation, her choices regarding when and how she would use that marvelous voice. She never delivered a vocal run simply for the sake of doing it - it was done with purpose; no doubt a trait she learned from her accomplished mother, Cissy, or from her god-mother, Aretha Franklin.
And so while I'm sure many reviews will note the dramatic change in Whitney's voice on this album - I'm not bothered at all. Sure, she may not hit the notes with the same ease as she did 20 years ago ... and sure, she sounds a bit rough 'round the edges at times. But her phrasing and interpretation are Classic Whitney, and the more-personal-than-ever-before lyrics let Whitney pour her heart and soul out.
Just listen to the songs. Whether it's a tale about picking yourself up after going through some may-juh drama on "I Didn't Know My Strength", to a Zen-moment of letting the hate roll on by with "Nothin' But Love" to the final kiss-off of an old flame gone out on "Salute" - this album is essentially Whitney Houston telling us a story. Not just any story - but her own story. She's looking to us for support, for acceptance, for love, for a second chance at re-claiming her rightful place as the Queen of modern Pop/Soul music.
After listening to the songs on this album - everyone one of them single worthy - I will look back at Whitney and say, "I'll Always Love You".