New Reviews: Whitney Houston, Black Crowes and John Fogerty

September 1st, 2009 by Rolling Stone Leave a reply »

Photo: Loccisano/FilmMagic

This week’s New Reviews kicks off with an album that was uncharacteristically released last Friday, August 31st: Whitney Houston’s I Look To You, the diva’s first LP in seven years and — given Houston’s turbulent years leading up to its recording — an album worthy of its own unorthodox release date. Houston doesn’t spend much time reminiscing about the past few years — only the single “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength” touches upon her perseverance — instead, I Look To You finds Houston reclaiming her crown as music’s premier singer, with a little help from guest songwriters Alicia Keys, R. Kelly and Akon.

“It is a modern soul record, a collection of sleek, often spunky love songs that aim at something more immediate and tangible than nostalgia or catharsis: Houston wants back in the diva stakes,” Jody Rosen writes in his three-and-a-half star review of I Look To You. “At 46, Houston is not the singer she once was. Time and hard living have shaved some notes off that amazing range; the clear, bright voice that dominated radio has given way to a huskier tone — less powerful but more sultry.” No matter how the years of rough living have affected Houston, I Look To You finds the singer declaring that Whitney is back.

Hitting shelves today, the Black Crowes return with Before The Frost… Until the Freeze. Recorded in front of fans in a Woodstock, New York farm, the band’s new LP is actually split in two: Frost features 11 funk jams and ragged rockers, while Freeze is a nine-song free download of country-tinged acoustic numbers that accompanies Frost. Overall, the whole collection received a three-and-a-half star review in Rolling Stone from Mark Kemp, who called the album “the perfect Sunday record after a long night...

Article Source: Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily


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