Friday, November 25, 2011

254. Whitney Houston. The saddest feel-good pop of all



Album: Whitney Houston
Artist: Whitney Houston
Year: 1985
Genre: Pop

Tracks

  1. You Give Good Love
  2. Thinking About You
  3. Someone for Me
  4. Saving All My Love for You
  5. Nobody Loves Me Like You Do
  6. How Will I Know
  7. All at Once
  8. Take Good Care of My Heart
  9. Greatest Love of All
  10. Hold Me

Some music is designed to make you happy. Some songs have been written specifically to give you a spring in your step and a smile on your face. Most pop music is created with exactly this ethos in mind. When you're happy listen to this and when you're sad listen to this to get happy.

Whitney Houston's first album is definitely an attempt to capture the sound of hugs. 15 different writers collaborated on a set of songs designed to be a big bucket of sunshine in the lives of all who heard it. It's one of those albums where even the sad break-up songs are supposed to make you feel great.

A few decades have passed and while other girly pop of the era (Madonna, Cindi Lauper etc) can still recapture the bright colours of the eighties, a listen to Whitney Houston only makes you think about what's happened to Whitney since those days.

For a decade or two, Houston released big selling albums, sold out concert venues and had a nice-girl image that combined wholesome and genuine. But by the end of the nineties she become progressively more erratic and the drug rumours started. She had a messy divorce, some dreadful interviews and some highly publicized secret trips to rehab.

A 2009 comeback was called I Look To You which generated two singles, one of which peaked at number 70 on the billboard charts and the other only managed 100. It was supposed to return her to the top of her game but it only served to return her to rehab a few years later.

You may be able to disconnect art from artist more effectively than I can but when I listen to this album I struggle to overlook the tragedy that Whitney became. From Pop princess to walking headline. It's hard to listen to this music and feelgood when you know that the singer was so dependent on other substances to feel good herself.

Highlight: Her voice. She does have a great voice
Lowlight: The production hasn't dated at all well

Influenced by: The Supremes
Influenced: Teenage girls looking for a positive role model

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: "Whitney is a true diva, and I AM A TEEN!"

-Glad we cleared that up

So does Houston have a problem or not? let me know below.

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