Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston



by ZGP1992 USER (17 Reviews)
November 9th, 2012 | 8 replies

Release Date: 1985 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Whitney Houston (Arista) is one of the warmest, most complex and altogether satisfying rhythm and blues records of the decade and Whitney herself has a voice that defies belief.

Whitney Houston burst onto the music scene in 1985 with her self-titled LP which
had four number one hit singles on it, including "The Greatest Love of All," "You Give
Good Love" and "Saving All My Love for You," plus it won a Grammy Award for best
pop vocal performance by a female and two American Music Awards, one for best
rhythm and blues single and another for best rhythm and blues video. She was also cited
as best new artist of the year by Billboard and by Rolling Stone magazine. With all this
hype one might expect the album to be an anticlimactic, lackluster affair, but the
surprise is that Whitney Houston (Arista) is one of the warmest, most complex and
altogether satisfying rhythm and blues records of the decade and Whitney herself has a
voice that defies belief. From the elegant, beautiful photo of her on the cover of the
album (in a gown by Giovanne De Maura) and its fairly sexy counterpart on the back (in
a bathing suit by Norma Kaman) one knows that this isn't going to be a blandly
professional affair; the record is smooth but intense and Whitney's voice leaps across so
many boundaries and is so versatile (though she's mainly a jazz singer) that it's hard to
take in the album on a first listening. But you won't want to. You'll want to savor it over
It opens with "You Give Good Love" and "Thinking About You," both produced and
arranged by Kashif, and they emanate warm, lush jazz arrangements but with a
contemporary synthesized beat and though they're both really good songs, the album
doesn't get kicking until "Someone for Me" which was produced by Jermaine Jackson,
where Whitney sings longingly against a jazz-disco background and the difference
between her longing and the sprightliness of the song is very moving. The ballad
"Saving All My Love for You" is the sexiest, most romantic song on the record. It also
has a killer saxophone solo by Tom Scott and one can hear the influences of sixties
girl-group pop in it (it was cowritten by Gerry Goffin) but the sixties girl groups were
never this emotional or sexy (or as well produced) as this song is. "Nobody Loves Me
Like You Do" is a glorious duet with Jermaine Jackson (who also produced it) and just
one example of how sophisticated lyrically this album is. The last thing it suffers from is
a paucity of decent lyrics which is what usually happens when a singer doesn't write her
own material and has to have her producer choose it. But Whitney and company have
picked well here.
The dance single "How Will I Know" (my vote for best dance song of the 1980s) is a
joyous ode to a girl's nervousness about whether another guy is interested in her. It's got
a great keyboard riff and it's the only track on the album produced by wunderkind
producer Narada Michael Walden. My own personal favorite ballad (aside from 'The
Greatest Love of All" – her crowning achievement) is "All at Once" which is about how
a young woman realizes all at once her lover is fading away from her and it's
accompanied by a gorgeous string arrangement. Even though nothing on the album
sounds like filler, the only track that might come close is "Take Good Care of My
Heart," another duet with Jermaine Jackson. The problem is that it strays from the
album's jazz roots and seems too in. fluenced by 1980s dance music.
But Whitney's talent is restored with the overwhelming "The Greatest Love of All,"
one of the best, most powerful songs ever written about self-preservation and dignity.
From the first line (Michael Masser and Linda Creed are credited as the writers) to the
last, it's a state-of-the-art ballad about believing in yourself. It's a powerful statement
and one that Whitney sings with a grandeur that approaches the sublime. Its universal
message crosses all boundaries and instills one with the hope that it's not too late for us
to better ourselves, to act kinder. Since it's impossible in the world we live in to
empathize with others, we can always empathize with ourselves. It's an important
message, crucial really, and it's beautifully stated on this album.

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user ratings (22)

Comments:Add a Comment 
November 9th 2012


Good idea = shopping for clothes

Bad idea = shopping for oxygen

November 9th 2012


best albvm ever made

Contributing Reviewer
November 9th 2012


what happening with the formatting ?

Digging: Different Strings - The Sounds of Silence, Pt. II: The Counterfeits

November 9th 2012




Digging: The Prodigy - The Day Is My Enemy

November 9th 2012


Album Rating: 3.5

what happening with the formatting ?

I was wondering the same thing. Because when I looked over the review, everything was perfect. Now the first half of this and the Huey lewis review are all fucked up. It really doesent matter though, so Im not worried about it.

November 9th 2012


trve soul

December 2nd 2012


Even though it came out a while ago, I just feel like reiterating that Dancing in Houston (How Will I Know x Dancing On My Own) is a brilliant mash-up of two perfect dance songs.


December 2nd 2012


"I make too much money to ever smoke crack. Let's get that straight. "

Flawless logic.

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