I was excited when I heard about Whitney Houston‘s comeback — three years ago. I was still willing to wet myself as it finally became a reality the other week, because a great pop diva is always welcome in my heart of hearts and on my personal charts. But now that her new single, “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength,” is searching for an audience, I find I’m still reaching for my Lady Gaga music.
First of all, Whitney’s voice, while still stellar, has a dirt-road rough quality to it now, as if she starts every morning gargling on razor blades.
Secondly, the tune reeks of early ’90s power ballad, with its self-aggrandizing sentiments and overblown platitudes (“I didn’t crumble”). I’m sure it’s a sincere reflection of Whitney’s rising from the ashes of drugs and all that, and we salute her for trying, but surely something more magical — and timely — could have been produced out of her pain.
Oh, well. The album to come has a lot more track marks — I mean tracks. So let’s not crumble!