Fallen 80’s pop diva Whitney Houston has teamed up with singer/rapper Akon for a new single titled “Like I Never Left”. The newly leaked track is a duet between the pair and is very reminiscent of the type of “apologetic” sounding music producer Ne-Yo said he had heard being shopped around for Whitney’s comeback CD. As many of you know, Clive Davis took Whitney back under his wing and has been plotting her return to the music scene for some years now. Whitney last topped the charts nearly a decade ago and Clive is obviously hoping new producers like Akon and Ne-Yo can help restore Whitney to her former chart topping glory. “Like I Never Left” however, will not be the single to do that. The song is album filler at best and featuring Akon on a track is so two years ago.
As a longtime Whitney fan I think it is a mistake to try and make Whitney Houston sound hip. Whitney has never been hip and never will be. She is an old school artist and needs old school (minded) songwriters and producers. Ne-Yo is up for that challenge- Akon is not.
Clive tried this hip tactic before by bringing in Rodney Jerkins to produce the majority of Whitney’s My Love Is Your Love CD and that resulted in Whitney’s lowest charting album since her debut in 1986. Instead of looking to make Whitney young and current they should simply look to make classic music that suits Whitney’s voice and style. Maybe that sound will come from a hot new producer/songwriter like Ne-Yo or Akon- maybe it won’t. Good music is what Whitney needs most- not a producer with a high profile name behind him.
This song is not a hit- not even a modest hit and I hope it isn’t the first single.
But enough of what I think- listen to it for yourselves here.