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  • Muzik First

ALBUM THROWBACK: WHITNEY HOUSTON | MY LOVE IS YOUR LOVE

"My Love Is Your Love" was the first album by Whitney Houston in eight years, and while it doesn’t boast a classic like “I Will Always Love You” or “Exhale (Shoop Shoop),” it’s easily one of her most consistent albums. Released worldwide on November 17, 1998, it is hard to believe that she had only had three studio albums to her credit. All that changed in 1998 when Arista, her career-long record label, announced the arrival of her album "My Love Is Your Love." The work marked Houston’s first non-soundtrack-based album since the 1990s, "I’m Your Baby Tonight." The album, which was created in six weeks, found Houston back in the studio with longtime collaborators Babyface and David Foster. She also gathered a pack of new songwriters and producers like Rodney Jerkins, Missy Elliott and Wyclef Jean to refine her polished sound.

Nothing came more of a surprise than Houston and Mariah Carey uniting their glorious voices for an inspirational duet. Curated by the legendary Babyface, the powerful hymn listened to two rip-roaring forces encourage doubtful hearts to hold on to their faith as they waited for the possible to happen. The track was featured on the Disney film "The Prince Of Egypt" and went on to win the 1998 Oscar for Best Film Song. Although, One of the most impressive songs on this set is her second single, "Heartbreak Hotel." Soulshock and Karlin are on production on this cut which they wrote with Tamar Savage. Whitney sticks mainly to the verses, and it features Faith Evans & Kelly Price, who take the run on the choruses. It makes the song very accessible and not a battle for vocal supremacy. It works so well. The song is mid-tempo and runs a relaxed mood. It pulls no punches, no vocal acrobatics, just soulful interpretations of the lyrics.

The first song on the album ‘It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay’ also served as the third single, has an effortless beat and complements Whitney’s voice well. She’s in great form here with spot-on ad-libs, chanting and falsetto. The lyrics remain contemporary as Whitney sings about her partner who supposedly left to be out with friends "last Friday night" ('..Six of y'all went out, but four of you are really cheap, 'cause only two of you had dinner....I found your credit card receipt') - the evidence of deception. The fourth single lifted from the album was ‘Your Love Is My Love’ which peaked at number four on the US hot 100, and it became Houston’s second best-selling single after ‘I Will Always Love You." Her vocals are soft and clear, and the echo that follows her voice adds a haunting effect to the song. This song is heavily influenced by social issues and has strong links to faith.

"My Love Is Your Love" contains a magnificent selection of songs. Although it is impossible to review all of them, it is worth highlighting 'Get It Back,' a funky R&B song that features the classic Darkchild production, 'In My Business,' a modern up-tempo R&B track with Hip-Hop influence featuring rapper Missy Elliott, who is also in charge of the production and is the most urban theme of the album or 'I Bow Out,' a mid-tempo R&B ballad under the production of Babyface and Darkchild. All in all, this is a classic album of immense proportions at a critical juncture of Whitney's musical career. The album pulls no punches and doesn't pretend to be anything or anyone else. It's Whitney. That's what makes this album a resounding success at the end of the day.