My Love Is Your Love
Houston's 'Love' stands on its own hide
Considering the success she's had over the past eight years with emotional ballads from movie soundtracks, Whitney Houston could've simply stuck with that formula for her first studio album since 1990's I'm Your Baby Tonight.
While she hasn't abandoned it entirely on My Love Is Your Love (* * * 1/2 stars out of four) -- the work of Babyface and Diane Warren is quite prominent -- she's smartly hooked up with several hot, young producers who've updated and diversified her sound.
There's something here for just about everybody, whether you favor R&B, pop or adult contemporary radio. Her soaring duet with Mariah Carey, When You Believe, is likely to cut across all genres. The title track is a spiritual, reggae-tinged jam from Wyclef Jean. Rodney Jerkins, whose production of The Boy Is Mine by Brandy and Monica ruled the charts most of the summer, provides plenty of bounce on several up-tempo tracks, and Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott serves up two songs on which Houston addresses her much-scrutinized marriage to singer Bobby Brown. I Bow Out combines the best of both worlds: It's written by Warren and produced by both Jerkins and Babyface.
But the best track is the one that didn't make the credits -- the rollicking, gender-flipping remake of Stevie Wonder's classic I Was Made To Love Her. On this Lauryn Hill-produced, harmonica-kissed track, Whitney Houston brings the funk.