Whitney Houston, "I Look To You"

82 Billboard Rating

On the lead single from her first album in seven years, Whitney Houston is both vulnerable and in control. The singer re-enters the spotlight with a stoic ballad about rising again after a fall from grace, with all the literal resonance that brings. "As I lay me down/Heaven hear me now," Houston sings, punctuating each syllable with strong-willed aplomb. "After all that I've been through/ Who can I turn to?" The lyrics are penned by R. Kelly, himself no stranger to career downturns and revivals. And the minimalist production, which features a lone, sullen piano and soft synths, exists purely to cushion Houston's moving vocal performance. "I Look to You" stands firmly in the tradition of her most emotive hits ("Greatest Love of All," "I Will Always Love You") and signals the long-awaited return of a true diva. --Monica Herrera

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