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Always & Forever WHITNEY - by Nikesh

E-mail:  NPatel2037@aol.com
Age: 20 (in 1998)
Country:  UK
Album Reviewed:  My Love Is Your Love
Rating:  100/100
Added on:  21-11-1998

Objective of Review

To review this album is probably one of the most 'daring' things I think I will ever have to do. I mean, to write a piece about the new album, that thousands of people around the world will be reading, is quite a nerve-racking thing.  It's no secret that I love Whitney, that voice, the lady, the style, and all that class. So how do I go about writing a review which is objective, and fair to someone who may never have bought a Whitney album before.

My Love Is Your Love

So, the new album, Whitney's first (studio album) in just over eight years.  Has she maintained that 'voice', how has her style changed, can she still sang the way she did before. How how have the past 8 years influenced Whitney - getting married, having a child, dealing with the downfalls in life, and the up-sides of life. A new career in movies............

The producers

When I first heard about Whitney working with people like "Missy Elliot" and "Rodney Jerkins" and "Wyclef Jean" I was really worried, I was really worried that may be their styles would kind of drown out Whitney's presence. And may be their production was just too rough for Whitney.  Boy was I wrong..!!!!!

The album

Ok, so here goes, I shall try and account my opinion of each song.

It's Not Right But It's Okay-This is one of the first songs I heard from this album, via a promo (thanks to a very dear friend, you know who you are). I heard the song and instantly thought 'wow'. My worries of Rodney were put to rest, as I had previously thought his style was may be a little too naive for Whitney.  Also, could he manage to write a song to accomodate Whitney's powerhouse vocals.  Could he capture the essence that Whitney has, for example, the essence that she had in up-tempo songs like "I'm Every Woman, or to a lesser degree, "So Emotional.  Rodney. J. has proved himself a diverse producer with this "ANTHEM" of a song.  I have played this song out in my car and all over. The song tells the story of a woman who's man has been cheating on her, she's found out, but exclaims "Its not right, but its ok, I'm gonna make it anyway"....."pack your bags, up and leave, don't you dare come runnin' back tome"..........I am sure this track will take the clubs by storm, and open up yet another door in Whitney's already amazing career in music. This is said to be, the next Whitney single, and without doubt, it should push the album to another level, musically, and in the charts.  The track is very up-beat, funky, fresh, and although it is a new sound to Whitney, it does not sound like anyone else, it is at the end of the day, a Whitney track.

Hearbreak Hotel-"This is the hearbreack hotel" "this is the hearbreack hotel" ..............that is how this song opens up, repeated over and over until Whitney comes inseamlessly singing "you said you'd be home by nine"......and so on.  Personally, this for me is 'one' of my favorite tracks on this album, it has a haunting melody, simple, but the only thing that frustrated me was that it was just too short for a song, it is almost like about a minute or half had been cutoff at the end.  Whitney's voice is clear and powerful, although she sings in her "mid-tone" and the song also features the wonderful "Faith Evans" and the new singer "Kelly Price".  I was expecting this song to be a high powered vocal gymnastics kinda song, instead you are pleasently suprised by the soulful tones of each 'very gifted' singer.....The production here is just so cool, simple strings, and drums, a little bass, and a really cool hook in the chorus.  This is an excellent track, surely a big r&b smash hit, if it ever see's thelight of day as a single, well done also to "SoulShock and Karlin" who produced the song, aswell as writing it.  This track just gives me the chills everytime I hear it. I love it, I love it, I love it..!!!

My Love Is Your Love-The Wyclef song. When I heard Whitney had taken a 'raggae' sound for this song, I thought, "oh my God" as well as my initial worries about "Wyclef"......This is probably one track I think I was most shocked to hear. As the song played on my CD player, I sat there with my mouth wide open, I was astounded by the quality of the writing, and the smooth production. And the sweet tone in Whitney's voice.. This is really one "inspirational" song, speaking of love, "as the years they pass us by, we stay young through each others eyes, and no matter how old we get, its ok, as long as I got you baby".......Only a person, truly in love, can sing this the way Whitney sung it. It's a heartfelt song, it's amazing, breathtaking, refreshing, happy, another classic to add to Nip's already massive collection.  Thank you Wyclef for this track, it is amazing, I feel like a fool now for worrying too much.  Oh, and by the way, this track features little "Bobby Kristina"..... (Whitney's daughter)

When You Believe-When I heard this song, for the first time, if I am honest, I thought it was really really bland, not just the lyrics, but also the production.  Then, after a while, it just kinda grew on me, the lyrics are simple, and although, I still think it could have been an excellent solo song for Whitney, it was an excellent idea to have Mariah on the record too.  It is a landmark for Whitney, by working with Mariah, I love Mariah, and I think they sound fantastic together, especially when they harmonize together. A lot of people have been moaning that Mariah goes off the rails, and sings to high, but I personally think she sounds cool, I couldn't have had it any other way.  It was good to see it didn't turn into a "diva fest 98" type of song, where they try and out sing each other. Whitney sounds so amazing, soulful, and her lyrics are sung with such depth, feeling, it almost moves you to tears. Mariah, had an excellent verse in the song, "In this time if fear, where prayer so often provesin vain, hope feels like the summer bird, too quickly flown away", and in this part, I think she sounds the best, she actually, sings, like a real singer, with conviction, feeling, and authority, and then, after this, she goes to her normal style of singing, in the higher register.  The song is going to be a classic, as well as a major hit single, no matter what anyone says. So lets hope people stop givin' these gals' a hard time.  As the song say's "who knows what miracles you can achieve, when you beleive" this song is an inspiring one, it works for the movie. Although, it isn't the best, or hightlight of the new Whitney album, although it may be on Mariah's one's set.  An inspirational song, which has a positive message. I hope the song goes all the way up to the top, where it belongs.

If I Told You That-Another track by "Rodney"....this actually sounds very similar to "The Boy Is Mine" except it is taken to another level, by Whitney, of course......Production on this is cool, the story is the highlight for me though, about a girl who has stronger feelings then she should about her friend. A situation we may have all found outselves in at one point or another. Up-tempo, another possible club hit. It opens up with a really strange "keyboard inro" and then goes into "If I told you that" with Whitney. This song is great, and I cannot wait to hear this one in the clubs, and re-mixed by the likes of J.D or someone of that manner.

In My Business-"Why they all in my business, it just too ridiculous, I can't get no sleep, they just keep wanting me" - I think with this song we all know who we are, the ones who pry on Whitney's private life, trying to tear her apart, for every move she makes. A bold statement, done is a very classy way. I love this song, I love the way it opens, with Whitney adlib-ing Missy, missy missy......its really cool.  I was worried about Missy, her previous efforts for tracks by other artists, including the repugnant song by Mel B. had me really freaked out, I really hoped we wouldn't get something like "I Want You Back" and I was releived when I heard this song. phew..!!!!!  This has class written all over it, and instead of being a Missy song, it immediately turns into a Whitney song. Funky, soulful, rythmic, a definate pop/club/r&b smash.  The song has a really dramatic, almost haunting melody, very different to anything I have ever heard before. At points Whitney's vocal tones remind me ofsomething she done on "My Name Is Not Susan"....

I Learned From The Best-The James Bond song, as Manish described it.  I have to say I agree with him, on all accounts. It does too sound like En-Vogues "Too Gone-Too Long"......although, Whitney sounds much much much better.(hehe)  David Foster once again at the controls. For me, I think the song is great, simple, deep and full of emotion, the perfect kinda song to play on sunday afternoon, relaxing, and pure classic Whitney.  Plus a long held note on the word "you" at the very end................excellent. Classic Whitney

Oh Yes-This is my all time favorite Whitney song ever. How Missy pulled this one off is just a mystery to me, but it is just absolutely fabulous. "The day, you held me in your arms, I still felt the scent of you, on my dress, un-beleiveable, you were so masculine, the way I felt your chest, up next to mine, I felt you, in my heart, now I breath love"  An infectious chorus which comes in right after, this song is just a ClassicSong, in the line of "Billy Holiday" or "Aretha" or may be it is just pure, and classic Whitney.  Missy I love you baby, this is just one hell of a song, she really must have been inspired to write this, after hearing Whitney, who wouldn't....? When she sing, she sounds so seductive, so amazing, un-beleivable, this song is definetly one for those lovers out there, it gives you chills, up, down, left and all over.  This is like no other Whitney ballad, it is pure genious, a very seductive, soulful production, with Whitney's soulful vocals caressing each word like she has never done in song before. "Its you that makes me smile, when everything is crazy, your the one I love, no other man can faze me, cause your in my heart, I'm in your heart, every minute, every hour"

Get It Back-The more I listen to this song, the more it just grows on me, it is a smiple masterpeice, and I love the way Whitney sounds on this record, it is almost like how she would go at it, "LIVE". I love the long held notes near the very end of the track.  The strings sound just like "Puffy's" all about the Bejamins. Whitney sings so freely with this song. A very young sort of sound for Whitney, her voice is quite powerful and clear on this one, although I don't know about this one, may be it will grow on me, I think it is a good song, but it is probably one of the most different one's on the album.  Funky, lots of strings........ Production of Mr Jerkins.

Until You Come Back-The return of Queen Whitney, and Babyface. Wow, this song is just pure and classic Whitney, with Mr Face. It is very similar to that of "I Love The Lord" and "I Have Nothing" in vocal style, but the production is very new for Face, fresh, new, startling, with Whitney going up and down the vocal scales caressing each lyric carelessly. "I lost my heart, a long time ago, you made me feel, like no one had before, boy you made me love you, then you walked out the door"..............This is probably a favorite for those older Whitney fans, who prefer Whitney singing the Classic songs, and I must admit, I love this one, Whitney is definately right at home on this one, carefree, soulful, powerful, and pure Whitney.  This has to be released as a single, it will not only sell millions, it will be an all time No#1 the world over. It has a very Christmas feel to it, may be around this time next year it may see light of day.

I Bow Out-Another Diane Warren song, this time with Face and Rodney sharing the production. This is a very theatrical kinda song, a full orchestra behind Whitney, with a slight funky beat to boot. A cool song, another from the song book of DianeWarren. A good song, again, Whitney is on familiar ground, it fits in with the rest of this set. It is also, another one of those songs that just grows on you the more you hear it. I don't know, it is just so different to anything I have ever heard before. I think this may be or should be release as a bonus cut on a single like "MLIYL" or something, may be a "Double A-Side" single.

You'll Never Stand Alone-A big balllad.  Apparently dedicated to Whitney's girl Bobbi K. This is a very inspirational power ballad. I don't even need to say more, written by Diane, and produced by Babyface. Gentle, powerful, sweet, inspiring, are just a few words I can say hearing this song just one time."You'll always have a home in these arms of mine, you'll never stand alone, my love is standing by"  If you want classic Whitney, this is it. In years to come, when you think of Classic Hits, Classic songs, you'll think of songs like "Saving All My Love" "Greatest Love Of All" "Didn't We Almost Have it All" "All The Man I Need" "I Will Always Love You" Exhale" and then you'll also think "You'll Never Stand Alone"

I Was Made To Love HIm-(****Bonus Cut****)-Up-beat funky Lauryn Hill produced song. Whitney's voice sounds very different. I don't know what happened here. It is a very kewl track though. I like it, very much. A very different song, a Stevie Wonder song, I never heard the origional. I wonder what he makes of this version.Whitney's voice sounds very very very GOSPEL-ISH on this song. Powerful, soulful, as usual.

Overview

What is most interesting, to me, is the sound of the over all album, I don't know if it is just me, but it is like listening to Whitney, LIVE, alot of the songs, are approached from an angle, the way she would attempt them live, and maybe this is why I love this CD so much. So, now you have read what I think of this album. It is easy to say this is one of the best Whitney albums she has ever done, and I can firmly say, I think it is "the best"...........I like it alot, thank you ARISTA and thank you much Whitney Houston. You will always be my inspiration, and I'll show my appreciation, in whatever way I can.

Nikesh

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