Review: Does Whitney Houston Have A Problem?
MTV were at her London concert last night to see if the singer still has 'it'...
With reports suggesting that fans had 'walked out' of Whitney Houston's comeback gig at London's O2 Arena on Sunday night because of her poor performance, there were mixed feelings as we made our way to last nights I Look To You show.
One things for sure, Whitney cannot sing like she used to...The critics are aware of this, the music industry is aware of this, her die hard fans are aware of this...and of course Ms. Houston is definitely aware of this. It's safe to say everyone’s aware of 2010 Whitney.
Once this is realised you’ll actually appreciate the show and the diva’s eccentricities as unlike most superstars during concerts, Whitney actually connects with her audience.
When addressing the crowd the I Will Always Love You star could be accused of being kooky...some may say purposely filling time or just plain old rambling – she does like to do that a little. Yet its within these elements of the show that Ms Houston provides fans with an intimacy that is extremely hard to produce in an arena.
Her performance of the lead single I Look To You from her latest album genuinely resonated with fans. It was heartfelt, powerful but also croaky and strained, however the fans didn’t mind. Why? Because it was clear to see that every off key note told a story of her struggle, and the crowd weren’t in attendance to judge. They were there to witness and celebrate a legend – warts and all.
Although honestly, the acceptance of ‘new voice’ Whitney isn’t an easy issue to overcome. The one time slick, and powerful Its Not Right But Its Okay became a huskier, deeper rendition that did the song no justice at all. Its evident in this performance that she can no longer provide the crisp fluid vocals that this track has in the original form. However, it seems the majority of fans are just happy to hear Houston perform and sing along too.
Surprises were in the form of Whitney’s daughter Bobbi Kristina who made a cameo appearance and displayed quite a nice voice singing an extended run of her ad libs during My Love Is Your Love - twelve years after recording the track with her mother.
As this was a Whitney Houston concert and its safe to say 99% of the audience came to hear one song and one song only - a registered and a little strained version of I Will Always Love You was met with nail biting anticipation. The audience were encouraging the singer throughout, until an unexpected silence... The note approaches, yep that one... Did she attempt it? Fans were teased with a lengthy pause before she gave a mighty and powerful roar into that famous chorus - to a rapturous applause from the crowd... Phew she did it.
This milestone was followed by some of Whitney’s classic 80’s tunes as fans were treated to a surprisingly great performance of the pop classics I Wanna Dance With Somebody and How Will I Know.
It seemed Ms. Houston’s had been saving her pipes as judging by the audience, this is when the show really came alive. These classics provided the biggest impact of the night and the once reserved audience had completely lost their inhibitions and were stood up dancing to the soundtrack of their younger days.
Other highs included I Didn’t Know My Own Strength and The Greatest Love Of All but the encore, her most recent hit Million Dollar Bill displayed that even in 2010, Whitney Houston is still able to produce hit songs of the same calibre as her glory days. Her voice may have faded but her music is still in a league of its own.
Review by Phil Noel