My Love Is Your Love

Whitney Houston

Arista Records, 1998



When Arista announced the release of Whitney Houston's first studio album in eight years I thought I knew what to expect: Diane Warren, David Foster and Babyface.

They're here. But Houston buried them.

In thirteen filler-free tracks we get an excellent "soft" hip-hop album with sound crafted by some of the urban genre's most cutting edge producers. Overall, a good album for Lauryn Hill fans. As pop music the grooves are addictive, as hip-hop they're austerely produced. There are exactly two, TWO big-voice ballads and they both show admirable restraint for the sake of virtuosity.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Marimba kicks off "It's Not Right But It's OK" produced by Rodney Jerkins (of the Mary J. Blige sound), a track that's tight to perfection. Which is followed by "Heartbreak Hotel" featuring the soulful vocals of Faith Evans and Kelly Price (the amazing voice that backed Mariah Carey in her pre- Butterfly albums), making an attitude-effective, vocally layered record. The hidden track produced by Lauryn Hill "I Was Made to Love Him" is the distinct Hill sound but curiously disappoints as Houston struggles with urban interpretation.

Two tracks produced by the innovative Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliot gives Houston's attitude a groove to match. "In My Business" has Houston ranting with Missy rapping about "ho's" in the background, "Oh Yes" presenting Houston as sensuous, something she's never effectively been before.

My favorite track is a ballad but "Until You Come Back" is so lightly sung you can almost pass it off as blues. The other ballads are amazingly nondescript; some Babyface blahs for sheer fan base maintenance, a Warren-Foster big-voice that would've stuck out if it weren't for the attitude Houston maintains. And of course, the Mariah Carey duet "When You Believe" which spectacularly duds under its over-diplomatic vocal arrangement.

She'll never do feats like seven Number Ones in a row with My Love Is Your Love, but who needs that? Let Celine Dion eat from the dish of chart glory. Houston has found a good sound and finally cut a consistent record; this diva is going to last.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


© 1999 JB 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.