Whitney

Whitney Houston

Arista Records, 1987

REVIEW BY: Tommy Johnson

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 03/20/2003

It's no secret that Whitney Houston has been a frequent subject in the gossip tabloids lately. The focus that used to be directed towards her many talents is now being directed towards drugs and scandals. However, today our focus is directed back to happier times and her 1987 release Whitney.

Whitney is a beautiful name, so it's quite understandable why they used it as the title of the album. It must be said that Whitney is also a very beautiful woman. (The cover of Whitney is a great example of that.) A happy Whitney makes me happy. Actually the entire album makes me happy. The songs, the cover, the production - it's a happy album!my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Alright, you get the drift…

By the way, did you see the video? Iknow, I know… but you can't really blame her when you consider it was 1987 and she really needed a video for "I Wanna Dance With Somebody." It's a great song and a very… colourful video.

There's actually a song from a musical on the Whitney album. The classic ballad "I Know Him So Well" originally appeared in the political musical "Chess." It was written by the two B's in ABBA, the Swedish songwriting duo of Björn Ulvéus and Benny Andersson, along with Englishman Tim Rice.

"Didn't We Almost Have It All" is probably the best-known ballad off this release. It's in all ways wonderful, especially the rhythm section of John Robinson on drums and Nathan East on bass. The fact that Paul Jackson provides guitar, and Robbie Buchanan Fender Rhodes makes the song even better.

Another big hit off this release is the Kelly/Steinberg-penned "So Emotional." Some of you might remember Kelly and Steinberg's early 80's project I-TEN. That album featured some great session players, including members of Toto (that's another story, though).

There are a couple of masterpieces on this album -- songs that have "hit song" written all over them. It's those tunes that makes this album great. However, it was 1987, so of course they had to include a couple of songs that would be more or less painful to listen to when the '80s were over. That distinctive '80s production makes some songs sweet, while it makes others downright silly.

So here we are 16 years later. The Whitney Houston of 2003 has a very different image from the 1987 version. Perhaps someday she will record another happy-sounding album with a happy-looking Whitney on the cover.

I hope so…

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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© 2003 Tommy Johnson and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Arista Records, and is used for informational purposes only.