After years of personal troubles, Whitney Houston is back in business with her latest album, I Look To You. This collection of inspiring, up-to-date tracks shows just how far she has come from the emaciated wraith who was famously asked to pull out of an Oscars performance.
Opener Million Dollar Bill was co-written by Alicia Keys, who asked to be allowed to contribute to the diva's comeback record. It's an upbeat, funk-laden club-friendly track, yet Houston is far from being mutton-dressed-as-lamb, with classy lyrics and a mature sound.
Like I Never Left, a duet with Akon is an extremely catchy tune that again shows that older artists can still cater to the young masses. Even the usually irritating and squeaky Akon sounds good here.
I Didn't Know My Own Strength could be criticised for being overly earnest and saccharine, but put in the context of the last decade of Houston's life, it's particularly touching, with lines such as 'I picked myself back up, held my head up high'.
While it's true there's nothing particularly innovative - Houston has worked mostly with time-tested writers and producers - I Look To You is a reassuring release. While lacking the freshness of My Love is Your Love, I Look To You is a solid collection of thoroughly enjoyable music. Long may she reign.