First Hit #1: November 2, 1991
Karyn White sounds like a Jackson. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with sounding like a Jackson, the family has a genetic predisposition towards pop music, but it’s kind of striking how White sounds so similar to the pop family, down to some of her vocal tics in Romantic. This isn’t to suggest she’s a clone of either Michael or Janet, her voice is different than both of them, but instead that she sounds like a separate member of the family. The sound is reminiscent, not cloned.
This really isn’t a coincidence, the song was produced by Terry Lewis and Jimmy Jam, best known for working with Janet Jackson. She’s even married to Lewis, and I don’t think it’s too out there to suggest that she probably demoed a lot of the pair’s songs before they presented them to Jackson. At the very least, the duo was quite accustomed to writing for a Jackson, and I suspect that has heavily influenced their work for White. It’s partially a case of songwriters dominating the sound of a singer, but since their other muse sounds very much like her brother – who did not work as extensively with Lewis and Jam – it’s an even stranger case where a singer has influenced songwriters, who now have so fully integrated that singer’s quirks into their own sound.
And it’s not a bad thing, just kind of interesting to hear.