In the Groove: Record Reviews 'Whitney' hide
"Whitney" (Arista) - Whitney Houston
Few second albums have been so eagerly awaited as Whitney Houston's. With four No. 1 singles from her debut LP, "Whitney Houston," and whopping record sales of over 14 million worldwide, Miss Houston was challenged to come up with a second winner.
And she has. Commercially, anyway.
There are bound to be a slew of successful singles, starting with the snappy "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)," and the lilting duet, "I Know Him So Well," which she does with her mother, Cissy Houston.
However, the song material on "Whitney" can only be called light and pleasant. There is no depth, and not much excitement. Nor does this extremely talented song stylist and Grammy winner take risks and try something just a little daring.
Michael Masser, who produced and co-wrote "Greatest Love of All" and "Saving All My Love for You," did the same on "Whitney" with "Didn't We Almost Have It All" and "You're Still My Man." Jellybean Benitez produced "Love Will Save the Day."
Narada Michael Walden, who produced and co-wrote "How Will I Know" on Miss Houston's first LP, has brought the same feeling to "I Wanna Dance With Somebody." He produced six other tracks as well on the new album, including "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" and "So Emotional."
Whitney Houston has a fine instrument and uses it well. Her voice takes us to places we know and to places we might want to forget and to places we dream about.