Whitney 'Sublime' After 7 Years Away

'The Voice' is still there, with help from industry giants
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Aug 26, 2009 11:35 AM CDT
In this Feb. 7, 2009 file photo, singer Whitney Houston performs at the Clive Davis pre-Grammy party in Beverly Hills, Calif.    (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg, file)
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(Newser) – It’s been seven years since Whitney Houston’s last album, and many younger listeners probably know her better for her recently-troubled life than for her series of huge hits. But her new album, I Look to You, marks a triumphant return, writes Jim DeRogatis in the Chicago Sun-Times. “Houston’s singing is still incredibly powerful—a sublime mix of gospel purity, pop prissiness, and bedroom purr.”

The album brings together the “knob-twirling and songwriting” of such industry giants as R. Kelly, Akon, and Alicia Keys, but “despite all of those stylistically diverse egos in the kitchen, I Look to You doesn’t sound overcooked at all.” It has a single thematic focus: “weathering hard times and coming out the better for them,” DeRogatis notes. “When our heroine croons, ‘I want you to love me like I never left,’ she gives us plenty of reasons to heed her call.”