The Greatest Hits
by Whitey Houston, pop/R&B (2000)
BMG/Arista, ASIN B00004R84V

No matter what she is doing in her private life nowadays or how her voice seems to have gone flatter for the worse, Whitney Houston's legacy of music is still something to be in awe of. And it's about time someone come up with a greatest hit compilation, I thought as I stuffed this double CD in my shopping bag.

After all, Whitney Houston's power ballads such as I Will Always Love You, Where Do Broken Hearts Go?, Greatest Love Of All, All The Man That I Need, and Saving All My Love For You still send chills up my spine. Especially in All The Man That I Need, which her voice just aches with passion. (I'm not too sure what to make of the kiddie choir at the end singing lines like He fills me up/He gives me love though - how will Mom and Dad explain that, I'd love to know).

And Whitney can groove too. Heartbreak Hotel, a powerful tirumvirate of a ballad featuring splendid harmonies by Faith Evans and Kelly Price is a smooth, laidback affair perfect for romantic passions, despite the subject of the song. And she can bring the house down in Chaka Khan's I'm Every Woman and Step By Step. Who can forget I Wanna Dance With Somebody? Now that's a classic, bad hairstyle and all.

And don't forget the magnificent My Love Is Your Love, truly the true Y2K celebration song if you ask me. And there's no denying the James Bond-esque erotic funk of I'm Your Baby Tonight. For a heavy stampede of adrenaline, here comes Queen Of The Night.

At the end of the day, Exhale (Shoop Shoop) cools things down smoothly.

Unfortunately, in an attempt to make Whitney cool and hip, some bozos thought it would be great to remix the tunes. How awful can one get? The I'm Every Woman here is awful, while many of the remixes drown the songs in heavy bassline and stomping bits, thus diluting every inch of uniqueness that separate each song for the other.

And as for new songs, they're passable. Just. Her duet with Enrique Iglesias, Can I Have This Kiss Forever is bland and tired. It is also embarrassing because her Spanish is truly awful. Likewise, in If I Tell You That, I can't tell her apart from George Michael, the latter trying too hard to outdrama Houston in the vocal theatrics department. Same Script, Different Cast, her duet with Deborah Cox, is the best of the lot, although it's a tired R&B affair.

What are they thinking? They've rendered Houston's magic into yet another one of those faceless, anonymous (and bland) R&B acts around the charts nowadays. And it's a shame, because Whitney's old stuff can still put to shame anything the Toni Braxtons and Aaliyahs of today are putting out.

Rating: 80

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