Whitney Houston – All the Man that I Need

First Hit #1: February 23, 1991

As is usual for Whitney Houston, she provides everything good about this song. Her vocal performance, as expected, is great, and she gives the chorus the right amount of passion and a bit of a hook to make it worth singing along in the car, where nobody can judge you. She sells it, but then again, she usually does, she could sing the phone book.

So it’s a shame that the arrangement is some soft rock weirdness, gilding the lily with saxophone and a bit of flamenco guitar that seems to have gotten lost on the way to another recording session. It’s cheesy, or it would be with any other artist. Houston controls the message, and overwhelms whatever instruments they might toss her way, so even if it’s easy to recognize the arrangement is, at least, kind of dated, it doesn’t really hurt as much as it could. Still, it’s a shame that producers had a great voice to work with, but all the bad habits of the era which usually merely distracted from that voice.

This entry was posted in 1991 and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Whitney Houston – All the Man that I Need

  1. RBerman says:

    One of the sadnesses of Houston’s professional life is that she never went the Rod Stewart route, giving us albums with renditions of American song classics of yesteryear. She did occasional standards, e.g. “I Know Him So Well” from the musical “Chess” on the end of her second album. But her legacy will be mainly a collection of adequate neo-crooner ballads like this one, as well as the inspiration she was on Mariah Carey and thus by proxy, on every American Idol contestant.

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