Saturday, June 02, 2007

Premature Ejaculation: Whitney Houston

It's not what you think.

I'm just a clever little monkey. My mind is an interesting roller coaster and one day I was listening to a bit of Whitney and revelling in her voice. Then I thought of her recent troubles and got really sad super quick. I started to ponder what would have happened if she just made some different decisions along her life's path. What could she have created? And then I thought of other's like new jack style rhythm and blues or the macarena, whuich was probably a merciful death that came too late. So thus came Premature Ejaculation, a new feature to highlight the deaths of cultural phenomena and trends. What would have happened if they had a bit more stamina, practiced tantra? Sometimes it will have a regretful tone, others thankful but I hope its at least entertaining or thought provoking or treasure laden. At the very least it should be a somewhat productive avenue for the endless minutiae my mind processes.

But back to dear old Whitney. An ingenue when she burst on the scene in 1985, she quickly took the world by storm with her powerful voice and mid-tempo dance numbers. In the crack-addled 80s, Whitney was one of the bright spots. She had a powerful voice with an amazing range that coupled with an effervescent smile and a charming personality. She scored hits getting people to dance (I Wanna Dance With Somebody), commisserating with the lonely (Where Do Broken Hearts Go?), and also uplifting (Greatest Love of All). At her height, she even sold 500,000 copies of her rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Of course, there is the benchmark single "I Will Always Love You" which just spent 14 weeks at the top of the charts and changed people's lives it would seem. With only a handful of albums and a couple of soundtracks, she is the 6th best selling female of all time. And her movies even did well.

So what happened?

Some say fame too quickly. Some say Bobby Brown. It's probably a combination of both but whatever the reason it is sad. Her last album was barely a blip on the landscape, barely clearing gold. She's looked emaciated and her voice is nowhere near the caliber it once possessed. So while there were loads of young starlets once angling to be called the next Whitney (Monica, Faith Evans, Shanna), now she is just a cruel joke and a non-factor with today's American Idol crowd. The voice that once made people quiver in their seats and had even Mariah Carey ducking a duet for a while now sits in oblivion addled by drug problems, marital issues, and a foreclosed house.

There are rumors a return is imminent. Maybe even in 2007. At 75%, it will still be better than 90% of the voices out there and with the right team of writers and producers, she could be amazing. We'll have to wait and see. Hopefully her career has been taking supplements so that it can recover quickly.


Rick Renzi said...
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