Review : Whitney Houston - The Deluxe Anniversary Edition By Dave Heaton
PopmattersTo understand why Whitney Houston is a superstar, all you need to do is listen to the live version of “Greatest Love of All” that is included as a bonus track on the deluxe, 25th anniversary reissue of her 1985 debut album, Whitney Houston. Recorded five years after the album, at an Arista Records anniversary concert, and originally released on a German 12-inch, it’s one of those show-stopping vocal performances that demonstrates not just that the singer has a great singing voice, but that she knows how to use it. It’s an example of virtuosity used carefully for emotional effect.
At the start of the song, she’s emphasizing the words in a drawn-out way, a common technique in jazz, and then as she proceeds she routinely ascends to acrobatic heights. The first time she holds a note to a surprising length, audience members yell out in appreciation. From then on you can hear them in her grasp, hear the way that they’re reacting to the way she sings each word. She isn’t just demonstrating her vocal prowess, she’s singing the song with a fierceness that hammers home the emotions of the song. Nearly five minutes in, there is applause when she shifts forcefully back to the chorus. It’s the sort of applause an instrumentalist might get after a solo, but more boisterous, and it feels like the applause is for the chorus as much as the acrobatics, for the impact of the chorus when she slams back into it. Then there’s the ending, where she holds a high note at the building point of an emotion for so long that your jaw may drop, even when you know that it’s coming. Then the song ends, and you can just about hear the audience leaping to its feet, in tears.
This same skill can be heard on the album itself; not as starkly or as consistently, but it’s there. Her singing of the opening song, and first single, “You Give Good Love”, soars for what seems a fairly average slow-jam love ballad otherwise. Listen to the point, two minutes and ten seconds into the song, where she sings “it took some time for me to see”, and her voice trails off. Listen to how her voice trails, how she manages to communicate a sublime sense of giddiness in that small of a moment. The song, like much of Whitney Houston, is a reminder that vocal gymnastics isn’t necessarily empty, but also a showcase in how that sort of gymnastics isn’t just about singing high and long. It’s about power, about what a singer can do with her voice, but also what she does.
The impact rises in proportion to how interesting the songs themselves are. “Saving All My Love for You” goes further with its story and specifics. Singing as “the other woman”, Houston ratchets up the drama without overdoing it. She sings some parts with bittersweet lightness (“that’s just an old fantasy”) and other parts with urgent heaviness (“tonight is the night”), exactly right for carrying the feelings in the song. A companion to that song where she does similar things is the ballad “All at Once”. The delicate way she sings the saddest details is sublime: “I started counting teardrops / And at least a million fell”.
Another of the album’s enduring hits, “How Will I Know” shows how well Houston can do the same sort of singing with a bubbly pop song. The a capella version included here as a bonus track is an amazing look at her raw talent. ...full text
BlogMillions fell in love with Whitney Houston’s music. Literally, millions. Notably one of the world’s top selling music artists, Whitney has sold over 150 million albums and singles worldwide, with 55 million certified albums in the United States. At twenty two years of age, I myself have always been a huge fan of her love songs, and she has far too many beautiful hits for me to include all of my favorites. Just to name a few, “Where Do Broken Hearts Go”, “I Believe In You and Me”, “Didn’t We Almost Have It All” and of course she killed it with Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You.”
Whitney Houston’s image was one that presented elegance and sophistication, which enhanced music sales even more. Her natural God given talent came through so beautifully through her singing; she was exceptional to say the least. Many fans like myself, appreciate her gift she presented to the world.
Showcasing her grand debut, Arista Records/Legacy Recordings will release Whitney Houston: The Deluxe Anniversary Edition. The re-mastered CD/DVD package, which will be released tomorrow, January 26, includes all ten of the original tracks, four of which took Whitney to the top of the charts. The best part of The Deluxe Anniversary Edition is five bonus features, rare television performances and music videos. The self titled album alone sold over 25 million copies worldwide, and has been deemed as one of her greatest works. Whitney Houston: The Deluxe Anniversary Edition is a simple, yet sweet reminder of the twenty one year old young woman who stole America’s heart....full text
EwLast year's I Look to You didn't quite succeed in refocusing consumers' attention away from Whitney Houston's personal travails and toward her one-of-a-kind voice. Whitney Houston: The Deluxe Anniversary Edition, the CD/DVD reissue of her delightful 1985 debut — which featured gigantic hits like ''Greatest Love of All'' — does a better job, with extras including a raw live performance of ''I Am Changing'' (from Dreamgirls) and an a cappella
mix of ''How Will I Know'' that displays the singer's precision long before the advent of Auto-Tune. A-...full text
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