Album Review: Whitney Houston - I Look To You

Posted by Mack of Sound-Savvy On 9:00 AM

Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years…” - from Salute

Artist: Whitney Houston
Album: I Look To You
Release Date: 9.1.09

The Good: The best part about this album is that all the collaborators on the album rise to their best. Swizz Beatz’s production is some of his best work on the lead single Million Dollar Bill, a captivating feel-good jam and possibly a new classic, while Akon sounds the best he ever has on the duet Like I Never Left. Johnta Austin’s contribution on Call You Tonight is arguably one of the best songs he’s ever written and Whitney delivers the vocals in classic style. Worth It is another possible classic, a ballad with a very refined feel to it, and For The Lovers is another two-stepper worth listening to. R. Kelly contributed two hits: I Look To You and Salute, a song about strength and resilience in the face of losing love.

The Bad: Whitney’s cover of Leon Russell’s classic A Song For You is the biggest disappointment. The original melody on this song rises and falls, telling a story beyond the lyrics that is beautifully conveyed in versions by Donny Hathaway and Christina Aguilera but it’s lost on this dance-pop rendition. I Didn’t Know My Own Strength is another failure, the power ballad that’s lacking the power; it’s like “The Little Engine That Could” but didn’t.

The Bottom Line: Whitney Houston’s career is already longer and more accomplished than any female you could name at the top of the charts today, so when news broke more than a year ago that she’d be making a return to her first love (no, not Bobby!), heads expectedly turned. I Look To You is an album saturated in the concept of love – losing it, finding it, and sharing it. Overall, I Look To You is a great album with a great range in terms of sound – there’s classic Whitney balladry, and then there are songs that make you want to dance and be close to the one you love. Longtime fans can appreciate the fact that Whitney’s sound has evolved, but not in the sense of taking on a new demographic – there’s a respectable balance. The music is mature and mostly fitting for where she is in her life and legendary career, but even legends aren’t perfect.

Sound-Savvy rates I Look To You with 4 out of 5 platinum headphones.

4 comments and counting...

  1. jackie Said,

    nice review. i think it's a solid album and effort by ms. houston! i love all the songs you mentioned in the good section. i'm not too famliar with asfy i was too young then, but the remake seems like a club or europop type of song imo. just wait until you hear her sing live. she will bring the songs to life even more.

    Posted on August 25, 2009 at 9:42 AM

  2. The album can be listed at, the album is a great comback, Mrs Houston and Mr David worked hard looking the perfect songs and producers, this album will be a classic one..

    Posted on August 25, 2009 at 5:29 PM

  3. Mike Said,

    I agree with your review 100%. Million Dollar Bill is the perfect comeback song and great way to start the cd off. The other tracks I like are Call You Tonight and Salute. In my opinion she sould have had R. Kelly and A. Keys do majority of the writing. No for the classic "A Song For You", who ever had the idea to take a song with such strong lyrics and emotion and turn it into a dance track was crazy. The song was ruined!

    Posted on August 25, 2009 at 11:50 PM

  4. D. Bleezy Said,

    certainly a fan of a few tracks on here.. Call her tonight ( im pretty sure that beat is similar to ne-yo's ) But goes very well with the song. I like I didn't know my own strength.. very good song ( was actually one of maybe 2 songs that i felt the Whitney Houston passion)

    I would have given the cd 3 headphones... but im not a big Houston follower..


    Posted on August 27, 2009 at 10:12 AM


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