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3.7 out of 5 stars
Just Whitney
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
As I write this it actually has'nt been too long since I heard of the news of Whitney's passing,having not yet seen 50. She'd faltered badly during the 90's and stalled after a significant comeback which found her emphasing a more urban sound. This unforunately wound up being one of Whitney's final albums and her first of the new millenium. Much as with MJ's Invincible,Prince's The Rainbow Children and Madonna's Music from this same period,all showcased these 80's era pop icons looking to stage comeback after a decade of somewhat mixed results for them. Whitney Houston of course comes straight from the soul/gospel school of vocalizing. Of course the way many of her contemporaries were sounding,it was beginning to look as if,between that and her personal problems her time had finaly come to pass. Well not if she had anything to say about it.

At this point Whitney had more of a difficult reputation in the press than anything. No big movie roles,no albums in a little while and erratic public displays. While her life seemed to be crumbling around her,she released what I'd say is the best and and most consistant albums of her career. One of the reasons is not only her interest in pursuing more funk oriented music but also better taste in production. Basically this is a lean,mean album all around. The old school style sophistifunk of "One Of These Days and especially "Love That Mean" really leading the way. On some of the modern,slick dance shuffles "Tell Me No" and "Dear John Letter" it's clear her voice has diminished some with the wear of her life. But again her dogged defiance in defending her mistakes make for a more than interesting listen. That comes through as well on "My Love",a midtempo duet with her (still) husband Bobby Brown.

On "Unashamed" her doggedness is just a little much to bare even if it is powerful urban contemporary R&B/hip-hop musically. Same goes for the other old school groove "Whatchulookinat",dominated by it's "tabloid junkie" style lyrics,kind of retread what MJ had already done in the mid 90's. The ballads "Try It On My Own" and a cover of "You Light Up My Life" actually are the better of her usually overblown ballads. In that sense,the somewhat diminished production and her lesser voice work in her favor. So yes the bombast and growl of Whitney's old voice is now gone,replaced with a still recognizable but more nuanced tone. It won't be to everyone's taste. But the music here is probably underrated by a lot of people. Even myself perhaps. I'd even go as far as saying perhaps Whitney's later albums are not at all the worst of her career. They just have a different flavor. And I wonder now that she's not with us anymore if these albums will be objectively re-evaluated,without the pollution of her backstory getting in the way.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Just Whitney is excellent it has some up-beat jams like "One Of Those Days" , "Love That Man","Dear John Letter" are a hip-r&b songs with the beat that makes you dance.Then there's the jam tunes like" Things You Say",her duet with Bobby Brown on "My Love" shows they care,and love each other.There's the ballad's
"Try It On My Own","You Light up My Life","Unashamed",and Tell Me No" were she really expresses the way she feels.Then "Watchalookinat" the single were she fights back at the press for the rumors that is a good song
This album is excellent,it makes u feel like you are in a relationship
go out and by the album :)
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
Those of us who use Amazon review to vent your anger of Whitneys personal life,shame on you.This cd is about Music great excellent music...obviously,she is not at the top of her game but one hateful Star,please.Some American artist are more popular in Asia and Europe because the emphasis is on the quality of the music not the character of the artist.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
Media can do so much damage to wondrous talents and witnessed this since my teens in the sixties when Judy Garland was labeled a has-been by the media & music industry in 1965...yet when experiencing her tremendous Opening Night performance at Los Angeles "Greek Theatre" 9/13/65, this was to be the greatest concert experience ever for this now forty-plus year concert goer yet strangely next day neither The Los Angeles Times or Herald Examiner reported on this memorable riveting event...learned at a young age to judge for yourself! Forget the negative press and savor & enjoy "Just Whitney", awesome collection and one of the amazing singers finest...two-disc set, worth it's weight in gold, includes sublime DVD that is a totally wondrous musical fantasy and Baby Face produced CD is richly varied, filled with a variety of great songs & performances, who could ask for anything more?
"One Of Those Days" starts the groove right with Whitney in superb form in wonderfully flowing song that is infectious and should have been a huge blockbuster hit...riveting "Tell Me No" is a great Whitney anthem with an edgy tremendous vocal being one of her finest and guaranteed to wear out that repeat mode..."Things You Say" is wildly romantic and engrossing while the great self-penned Bobby Brown duet "My Love" is winning with a nice flow to it.
A funky romantic jam "Love That Man" is a cooker that has a hit sound to it while "Try It On My Own" is one of Whitney's greatest ever anthem performances...solid classic is thrilling to experience both vocally and emotionally defining what this magnificent singer is all about. A great funky jam "Dear John Letter" flows like honey while a hypnotic "Unashamed" is dark and exotic...great sadly overlooked collection should have been a huge blockbuster & for shame to the music industry not giving support to this collection of versatile great performances. "Just Whitney" should have had multiple Grammy Awards and sold more than just a few million...perfect example of why the music industy is in the pit!
Many have recorded "You Light Up My Life" but never has anyone gone to the core of this song until this beautifully moving version that is a performance filled with so much feeling and emotion that can easily bring one to tears. Bravo to Whitney Houston for this wondrous collection filled with sublime performances...lady, you are something else!!!
Closing this masterpiece is the engaging hit "Whatchulookinat", wild rhythm cooker should have gone to #1 but so much bad press kept this great song from going to the top where it belonged...listen to these lyrics! To the media, please stop taking apart this legendary talent and just enjoy...thank you Whitney Houston for sharing your great gift and please keep it coming & love and miss you lots and look forward to more great music delivered as only you can!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
In the case of Whitney Houston, the past couple of years have been extremely hard on her, not only because of the scandal around her career, but also the lashings of lawsuits, by her possessive father, John Houston. Well, whatever the case is, she is definitely back and her vibe is truly better than ever. She seems to really be on her way back to the top.
Her new album, Just Whitney continues the exact same vibe Whitney had with her previous album, My Love Is Your Love. Each song is crafted with songs that range from Adult Contemporary, to Hip Hop formats. This album is her first one without her longtime friend, Clive Davis, who left Arista in 2000. So for this one, she actually picked somebody she actually knows best, her husband Bobby Brown, who performs on the collaboration My Love, and produced Whatchulookinat, a song about lashing out at the media for making her into a foolish joke, which is similar to Eminem, without any bad sware words thankfully.
The album also includes nine other strong songs, including a cover of the Pop Standard, You Light Up My Life, and Try It On My Own, a song about growing up, and underdstanding life as you get older and more mature.
Although there are fewer songs than My Love Is Your Love, I can clearly say that this is truly the first record where every song that Whitney Houston made, where I can listen to the whole record, and not just favorites here and there. Both Whitney and Bobby should try to collaborate on good records like this in the future, not bad for a couple the media thinks of as bad. Although it is a little late, but I declare this as the Best R&B Album of 2002. It Is truly worth the price.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Whitney is finally back after 4 years of absences after MY LOVE IS YOUR LOVE (Not counting her best album). This time titled the album JUST WHITNEY. Whitney did not fully make use of her amazing vocal in this album. Here's a run down of the album.
ONE OF THOSE DAYS - this is the second single from the album. This song has a uplifting feeling to it and the beat is upbeat and kinda great, the lyrics is written perfectly to fit into the song. 9/10
TELL ME NO - This is a real good ballad by Whitney and its one of the best on the album. The guitar background by Santana made the song even better with Whitney groundbreaking vocal in here. This song also has a pop/rock feelin to it. 10/10 PERFECT!!!
THING YOU SAY - A slow ballad but not quite good. Whitney vocal in here is not okay. Its kinda boring actually. The background music is weird too. 5/10
MY LOVE - This is a great duet featuring her husband Bobby Brown. The song is basically talking bout their love for each other. The song has an upbeat tempo and their vocal really fits in here. 9/10
LOVE THAT MAN - A dance track wit an upbeat tempo. Kinda stuff that Whitney would do in the past. This track will surly grow on everyone who listened to it. 10/10
ON MY OWN - Another great Whitney ballad that bring us to the past. This song is a great reminisce of those ballads done by her in the past. "And I am not afraid to try it on my own, I don't care if I'm right or wrong, I'll live my life the way I feel, No matter what I'm gonna keep it real you know, Time for me to do it". Whitney is tryin new thing on her own and shes gonna do it. ON MY OWN is one of the most beautiful songs Babyface has ever written. 10/10 PERFECT!!!
DEAR JOHN LETTER - The song is really average. Kinda those thrown away track by her. Whitney should put this track away from this album but after listening to it a couple times, the chorus a catchy though. 7/10
UNASHAMED - This is another great track by Whitney. One of my favorite song from Just Whitney. The chorus of the song is simply amazing. Kinda an upbeat R&B track. The music and rhymes really flows well with Whitney vocal. This is a lyrically deft track by Whitney. 10/10
YOU LIGHT UP MY LIFE - This is a remake of Debbie Boone You Light Up My Life. This song is also Debbie Boone most popular and well-known song. Whitney cover is great. I've heard the original version by Debbie Boone and the song doesn't appeal to me at all. Whitney really shamed Debbie Boone wit such a great remake. 10/10
WHATCHULOOKINAT - The first single from the album, an upbeat R&B song that rips into the press and others who have intruded on Whitney's personal life over the past few years. Though the single was a big flop, it's a great song by Whitney. 9/10
So overall the album is an borderline comeback effort between average and good but it's okay. Songs like Tell Me No & On My Own alone are worth the full price of the album. If you are new to Whitney, I recommend you her debut and sophomore album "WHITNEY HOUSTON" & "WHITNEY" and also the best well-know soundtrack "THE BODYGUARD". They are my all time favorite Whitney album of all.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This new album from the diva is great! it has the uptempo songs, the ballads, the sweet midtempo songs- and one singer with a hell of a voice!!! from start to finish- it's a delight to hear her singing through the cool beats and melodies!
1. whatchulookinat?- i love this song! when it was released though i didn't think much of it, but then it grew on me- and i simply adore the song!!!
2. tell me no- great! i think now, that it should have been the 1st single. very strong.
3. one of those days- her new single- very sweet and relaxing.
4. things you say- a missy elliott song, with tweet backing up the vocals- nice slower song, and if you liked it you should pick up tweet's debut cuz it has pretty much the same sound.
5. my love- cool pop song with her hubby.
6. love that man- another nice pop song. nice vocals!
7. on my own- great ballad!!! the chorus start off exactly like "i will always love you" though, but really- a single for sure!
8. dear john letter- very cool song. like the end...
9. unashames- another great uptempo ballad- very strong too. i like the beat alot!
10. you light up my life- a cover beautifully coverd by whitney! great ballad, with even greater vocals.
11. whatchulookinat? remix- the remix is even hotter than the original- the bridge in it is off da hook, for real!!! love it. cool job diddy...
that's it. i'm just upset it doesn't have more songs, but i guess things like that, the term "short but sweet" ,was made up for!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I didn't expect this to be a good album. After all, Whitney has been receiving constant bad press, and her recent live performances have been lacking (the voice has often been hoarse and cracking).
But I'm glad to say "Just Whitney" is actually quite good, with a fine selection of mid-tempo R&B cuts mixed with classic Whitney ballads. That the album is getting mixed reviews only proves that Whitney is at an interesting point in her career: does she go retro and keep singing ballads, or does she try to be a bit more edgy and sing Missy Elliott-style songs? Well, on "Just Whitney", she does a bit of both and it works.
The album is short, but it is concise, and it is a consistent listen, much more so than "My Love Is Your Love", even if none of the songs will be as popular as "Heartbreak Hotel" or "It's Not Right But It's OK".
"Just Whitney" will be remembered mostly as one of Whitney's least popular albums, but it is worth checking out. You may enjoy it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Whitney Houston has basically created a Bobby Brown album, circa 1985. There is a dated, "New Jack Swing" quality, that doesn't offer anything new to her listeners and feels dated. Songs like "One of Those Days" and "Things You Say" provide a light snack, but don't have hooks that will stand the test of time. While Whitney is too talented to not bring something to the party--her gift and talent always draw you in--this album needed to be a smash and it's not even close. Even from a marketing standpoint--what album these days doesn't include at least 15 tracks, with a few alternative remixes of the single cut, just in case you feel you didn't get your money's worth? With the exception of Sade, what female contemporary singer puts together an album solely based on theme and can really get away with a 8-10 track CD? Mariah at least understands this and floods Charmbraclet with enough tracks and a remix so that there is definitely something for everyone. (If you can't wow them with quality, then do it with quantity. Mariah also didn't make another crucial mistake--when you have been trashed by the media, come back inspired and hopeful, don't sound defensive and nasty--Whitney's Whatchulookinat and Michael Jackson's Privacy, Tabloid Junkie, etc.) The fact that there are so few tracks on this album, means that each one has the burden of delivering that much more. Much has been made about Whitney's personal problems, but the truth is that we will forgive a entertainer almost anything, as long as they entertain us. The bottom line is, there are no short cuts when it comes to writing, no matter how much money is spent on concept, production, marketing. (Again see Michael Jackson's Invincible.) The issue here is that the production isn't dynamic enough to forgive the drab songs and the uninspired renditions of them--and then to have so few tracks just seems like professional suicide. Was there a rush to get this album out for some reason? What was the thinking behind a duet with Bobby--and would that have ever happened if Bobby wasn't her hubby? Perhaps Whitney should have done a remake of "Stand by Your Man" because this seems to be her philosphy, even when the choice is professionally self-destructive. Whatever her personal choice, this album requires a producer with a greater vision. No matter what one's feelings about her choice of material--there has definitely been a Whitney Houston sound. As someone said next to me after her taped Good Morning America concert in New York--"Whatever you say about her, she is our songbird." Whitney has brought a truth to even the most hackneyed writing and dross material but those performances were always shaped and had a bloom and a uniqueness. Whitney may chose to stand by her man at home, but she should keep him out of the studio.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2002
Format: Audio CD
The latest release from Whitney Houston, could quite possibly be the important CD release in her career. The recent media drama surrounding her love life, and social life has left a lot of people wondering "Does she still have it?" The answer is an unfortunate NO. Whitney built her career off of an amazingly strong voice, unfortunatley this CD does not show off her vocal ability because in my estimation she simply can't blow like she used to be able to. Also, the CD is simply too short. Only 39 minutes, with a total of 10 songs. It seems more of a work in progress, than an actual CD release. However, Whitney does work it up on songs such as Whatculookinat, and One of those days.
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