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Tag: Whitney Houston (81-84 of 84)

Whitney Houston album leaks ... on QVC?

Attention, shoppers! Yes, you — get your paws off that Marie Osmond Baby Boo doll and focus: Miss Whitney Houston is waiting for you on (digital) aisle 5.

The long-absent diva, who returns next week with I Look to You, her first album in seven years, is now streaming the full record via the famous shopping channel’s online marketplace to advertise a pre-order deal (all 11 tracks are also streaming on her official website, though QVC holds the retail exclusive).

Listen and tell us what you think, Whitney-ites, before the full review runs in EW’s print mag this Friday. Below, a YouTube grab of the song we personally think is the strongest; the Alicia Keys collaboration “Million Dollar Bill”:

Whitney, Mariah, Madonna, or Barbra: Who's your favorite fall diva?

Fall-of-Diva_lPeruse the upcoming music release calendar and one theme crystallizes: This fall belongs to the diva.

Well, I suppose it remains to be seen if the fall will actually belong to bombastic songstresses — they’ve gotta make a splash with sales, appearances, airplay, and all that first. (And some diva-esque antics would probably help stir up some excitement, too. Just sayin’.) But the ladies pictured at the left here are surely making a play for dominance with four releases that have the potential to be huge.

First up, of course, is Whitney Houston’s comeback album, I Look to You, on Aug. 31. Then on Sept. 29, comes a trifecta of releases: Barbra Streisand’s Love is the Answer, Mariah Carey’s twice-delayed Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, and Madonna’s greatest-hits album Celebration. (Hilariously enough, The Hills‘ Heidi Montag drops her album the same day. But I’m not about to include her in the “diva” category.) The short of it is, it’s an exciting time to be a diva lover!

Still, I have mixed feelings about all the releases. I’ll give you a few words on my anticipation for each diva’s disc. Whitney: Excited, but nervous. Madonna: Sure, I’ll buy it all yet again. Duh. Barbra: Ehh, it’s Barbra, which is always so Barbra. Mariah: Love “Obsessed,” but the rest better be even better.

But let’s get real here — I’m going to buy them all. Again, duh! But what about all of you out there? Which of these four albums are you most excited about? If you only buy one, which will it be? Based on what you’ve heard so far, what are you loving most?

More from EW’s Music Mix:
Guilty pleasures bracket revealed!
Whitney Houston’s ‘I Look to You’: Here’s hoping her album’s title track is not its lead single!
Mariah Carey delays album, ‘Today’ show appearance: What’s going on here?
Madonna’s new single, ‘Celebration’: Do you dig it?

Whitney Houston's 'I Look to You': Here's hoping her album's title track is not its lead single!

Whitney-Houston_lI’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t rooting for Whitney Houston’s comeback album to be packed with the kinds of undeniable power ballads (and saucy midtempo jams) that would return her to the top of the charts and introduce children of a certain age — those born, say, after 1992′s The Bodyguard soundtrack — to her legendary voice. Sure, I’m the person who drew the short straw and had to recap Being Bobby Brown for EW.com, but that multi-week journey to hell (to the no) wasn’t nearly enough to make me forget Houston’s contributions to the pop-music universe. Without her, there’d be no “Saving All My Love for You,” no “So Emotional,” no “Heartbreak Hotel,” no dance remix of “It’s Not Right (But It’s Okay).” Nor would American Idol have a longstanding tradition of contestants doing unfortunate things to an innocent ballad called “I Have Nothing.”

And that’s why it makes me sad to report that “I Look to You,” the title track from Houston’s forthcoming CD — which you’ll find streaming and available for free download at WhitneyHouston.com — has the same lack of discernible hook and same trite “overcome the obstacles” lyrics as recently leaked “I  Didn’t Know My Own Strength,” without any of the raw emotional edge of the latter song. I mean, I’m okay with a subdued Whitney vocal, but this track borders on somnambulent. Take that flurry of dated, Casio-esque strings that kick in at the 3:08 mark, as Whitney implores, “take me far away from the battle/ I need you to shine on me.” It sounds like the song is building toward something big, that the waves are (finally) about to crash up against the rocks in fine, dramatic fashion, but then, all you get is a little ripple. The general lack of hook, combined with the funeral-dirge tempo, utterly disinterested backing vocals, and weird flights of lyrical fancy (Whitney riffs that “walls are coming down on me” like it’s a good thing! ouch!) and, well, I’m ready to skip past “I Look to You”* and hope that the rest of Houston’s disc (due Aug. 31) contains something more memorable and radio-worthy.

What do you think of “I Look to You” (which, I neglected to mention before now, was written by R. Kelly)? Should it be a contender for the lead single? (Her label rep says that title is still undecided.) Share your thoughts — and when you do, be sure to make mention if you’re a Whitney loyalist — in the comments section below!

*Additional points subtracted for similar title/theme to Christina Aguilera’s heinous “I Turn to You.”

Whitney Houston's new single 'I Didn't Know My Own Strength': Will it be a hit?

Hello, and welcome to 1989! Whitney Houston has a new inspirational ballad, "I Didn't Know My Own Strength," in which first-verse downers such as "lost touch with my soul," "lost sight of my dream," and "I had no hope to hold onto" get quickly cured with Diane Warren's lyrical Paxil.

Yes, folks, our troubled diva survived her darkest hour, held her head up high, and even found the light to light her way out of the dark(!). All to the accompaniment of gooey strings, a gentle piano line, and a melody that's about as easy to latch onto as a soapy, wriggling baby in a bathtub.

And yet…there's something undeniably appealing about hearing Houston's voice paired with new material, especially because unlike some of her more bombastic ballads of yore, this performance somehow feels more restrained, more intimate, and more heartfelt.

Is there still a touch of Being Bobby Brown's wild-eyed protagonist when she sing-speaks the chorus? Sure. But at this point in her career, it's no use for Houston to pretend she's the same wide-eyed chanteuse who burst onto the scene back in 1985 with "You Give Good Love." By dialing back on the vocal acrobatics, and allowing the gravely little imperfections in her voice to come to the forefront, Houston allows us to get past the lyrical hokum and find something to get, well, inspired by — especially on repeated listens.

Would this leaked track have the potential to be a massive pop/R&B hit if it was selected as the first single from Houston's fall CD release? (Thus far, Houston's label has yet to announce which track will lead off the project.) I'd say "My Own Strength" would face an uphill battle at radio, seeing how it's more "Greatest Love of All" than "Birthday Sex" — yes, that is the title of this week's No. 8 track on Billboard's top 100; and yes, I am turning into an ancient and uptight beast — but then again, maybe I'm not the only one who thought pop radio was better 20 years ago than it is today.

What do you think of "I Didn't Know My Own Strength"? Are you digging it, or is it just too old-fashioned? And what do you make of its chart prospects in a "Boom Boom Pow" world?

UPDATE: Nearly as fast as song is posted by various fans on YouTube, it is being removed by Houston's label; you may have to search online for updated streams.

More from EW's Music Mix:
Admit it: You are (I am?) excited about the new Blake Lewis CD!
Michael Jackson's musical legacy: Tell us how you remember him
Salt n Pepa's Pepa and TLC's Chili enter the celebreality fray
Mariah Carey as Eminem: Yes, that's really her

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