Hallelujah! Whitney’s Voice Is Back

Most of the coverage of the BET duet the other night between Kim Burrell and Whitney Houston focused on whether the 47-year-old Whit was sporting a baby bump or merely a badly fitting dress (odds are: the latter). But, much more significant, was the shape of Miss Houston’s voice. After touring with her 2009 comeback album and showing all the vocal wear and tear that years of drugs (and Bobby Brown) had wreaked, Whitney’s vocal chops are recovering. She’ll never return to the glory days of her 1991 Super Bowl performance. Then again, no singer sounds the same at 47 as at 27. It’s thrilling to see Whitney singing well again, even if it’s in an inferior R. Kelly tune with lyrics that serve only as an occasion for gospel belting. Imagine her in a song that could show off not only melisma but meaning!

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