The New Yorker covers a new Whitney Houston documentary (and the magazine has a flat-out obsession with the singer — search-engine it). Her story is very sad, no question, but I don’t play her records and find her songs mere performances, the cover-ups that we now know they were. (I’ll even take Marvin Gaye’s National Anthem over hers — he did come up with the idea, after all … or was that Jimi Hendrix?)
There is one exception: “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me).” The video version offers her routine distractions, but listen to the number itself. There’s heaps of loneliness and desperate need for escape in there. I like to imagine that, down deep, she knew “this one will sound different after I’m gone.” Now you can detect the pain behind all the hot kicks.