Although it seems longer, it’s been nearly seven years since we’ve heard anything new from Whitney Houston. After spending the last three years recording, she’s back with I Look to You, and she sounds better than ever.
Whitney explained the title saying, “The last several years spiritually, this song says all I wanted to say. There are times in life when we go through certain situations – some not so good. You have to reach for a higher strength, you have to reach deep inside yourself, spend time with yourself to make some corrections that go beyond your own understanding and lean on a higher understanding, for me this song puts it all in check. If I did not have my faith I wouldn’t be as strong today.”
It would be easy to mention all the things Whitney has endured over the last decade: her shockingly thin appearance at the Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Special, the infamous Diane Sawyer interview, the $100 million lawsuit against her, losing her father, Being Bobby Brown and ultimately divorcing her husband of 14 years.
But it’s also easy to see how I Look to You deals with all of that. “That makes it real,” Whitney says. “The changes that we go through, the transitions that we go through, the tests that we go through, being a mother, becoming a single mother. It all had its ups and its downs, but for the most part, I kept my faith and I kept my head up… I took my time. All the triumphs and the ups and downs and stuff, it’s all incorporated on the album, and hopefully not only does it inspire me, but inspires a whole lot of other people.”
I Look to You reunites Whitney with Clive Davis as executive producer and opens with the lead single, “Million Dollar Bill”. Written by Alicia Keys and produced by Swizz Beats, the track is a perfect dance groove about love as Whitney belts out strong vocals. “Nothin’ But Love” follows as Whitney shouts out those who love her and those who try to hate on her on this uptempo track, produced by Danja.
The title track, written by R. Kelly and produced by Tricky and Harvey Mason Jr., is where Whitney shines. Beautifully-written lyrics sound even more beautiful as Whitney sings them full of emotion, reaching out to anyone who’s ever faced adversity. “Like I Never Left” is a fitting track title, with Akon helping out on this light and airy track.
Whitney takes on the Leon Russell classic, “A Song for You”, made popular by Donnie Hathaway. But this is nothing like Donnie’s version; Whitney flips it into a club banger, which takes some getting used to. “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength”, written by Diane Warren and produced with David Foster, is another triumph over adversity tracks and one of the best of the album.
The album concludes with “Salute”, another R. Kelly track, with Whitney declaring, “Don’t call it a comeback/No, I’ve been here for years.” The song is a clear message that Whitney is moving on and, “Well, I’m not done.” Glad to hear it! I Look to You marks the beginning of Whitney’s triumphant return to the top.
Make sure you pick up your copy of Whitney’s I Look to You in stores or online today.