My Love Is Your Love
I'm saving all my clout for the comeback hide
AFTER a hiatus of eight years, Whitney Houston is back with an album, My Love Is Your Love.
It was at the bidding of Clive Davis -the respected boss of the Arista label who discovered and signed her in 1985 -that she went back to the studio.
Since 1992's The Bodyguard, she has been busy dallying with movie and soundtrack projects. Her much-in-the-news marriage to Bobby Brown and their daughter also claimed much of her time.
No effort and budget has been spared for this comeback. Although, Houston would not have you think that she was ever away.
The album, completed in a very efficient six weeks, has all the elements of a hit and is definitely worth exploring.
The hottest names in the industry -producers, song writers and singers -were recruited to work with her.
Heavyweights include Babyface, who produced three other tracks besides When You Believe, and award-winning songsmith Diane Warren, who penned three tunes.
Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliot, Fugees Wyclef Jean and Lauryn Hill helped to update her sound with a '90s hip-hop groove -"urban" is the in word to use now.
Eliot wrote and lent her vocals to Oh Yes and In My Business, said to be inspired by Houston's marriage.
Hill, who just released her critically-acclaimed The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill, made a hidden track for her, I Was Made To Love Him -- a cool remake of Stevie Wonder's I Was Made To Love Her.
If all the reported drug-taking had wasted Houston's vocals, it certainly does not show here. In fact, her singing style is now more controlled and sophisticated, unlike her belting-all-my-lungs-out days of Saving All My Love For You.
Now, whether she really did a lot of dope is less clear.
Still resplendent in a black suit, she looked visibly dazed at a press conference in New York a fortnight ago, which was beamed via satellite all over the world and recorded on videotape.
Wiping her sniffles away on a white handkerchief ever so often, she drifted from moments of lapses to stretches of lucidity. At times, she would let her head hang, before spitting out her replies.
Still, in good ol' biting Whitney style, she managed to put some of her strongest views across convincingly:
ON CAREY, AND THEIR SUPPOSED RIVALRY:
"Music is supposed to bring people together and we came together for music. It's a spiritual song. It's about love, about people trying to get over obstacles.
"Mariah and I never had any rivalry because I don't know her well enough to have it with her. And she didn't know me well enough to have it with me. So when we met, it was a beautiful thing that we got to know each other for ourselves. We are friends ... really."
ON PRESS REPORTS ABOUT HER PRIVATE LIFE:
"I pray for patience. I pray not to react, because most of it is very unfair. I have a child to raise. I just want to impress upon the press that you are dealing with people with families who love and care for us, and who have to deal with people in the streets every day.
"My daughter has to go to school and she has to talk to her friends who ask her things she doesn't know anything about. All she knows is Mummy and Daddy and love. She doesn't know any other crap.
"It's incredible that the press has the right to write freely and there are no amendments for our privacy!"
ON HUSBAND BOBBY BROWN: "We are married. We are very much in love ... We're trying for another baby."