I’ll admit that I’ve never been the world’s biggest Whitney Houston fan. She’s held my interest for 2 or 3 songs per album, though, and I certainly won’t deny that she’s in possession of an amazing voice. A voice that, to my ears, has gotten better as she’s aged. Her last two studio albums, “My Love is Your Love” and “Just Whitney” found her tackling material that was a bit more mature and substantial than the likes of “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” and those God-awful Michael Masser ballads that she started her career singing.

Whitney Houston in concert, 2007 (Photo: JKevin01)

Whitney Houston in concert, 2007 (Photo: JKevin01)

As anyone on the planet Earth knows, Whitney’s career has been derailed by all sorts of drama: the tempestuous marriage to Bobby Brown and subsequent divorce, problems with various substances that left the former model looking like the sister of Pookie as played by Chris Rock in “New Jack City”, the fact that her daughter Bobbi Kristina is already going to need YEARS if not decades of extensive therapy. However, over the past year or so, Whitney has made several public appearances (usually in the company of her label owner/Svengali Clive Davis) and has looked damn good. While rumors of a new album have been floating for quite a while, we finally get our first taste of the scheduled-for-November release with “Like I Never Left”.

And the verdict? It’s a pretty good song, with a mellow, summery vibe. It’s not a blow-the-doors-open huge single, but Whitney’s in fine voice, the song doesn’t try too hard to align itself with current trends, and Akon (by some strange act of God) turns out to be a pretty decent duet partner. If he can do do this for Whitney, there might be hope for that Akon/MJ collaboration after all.

Take a listen for yourself. What do you think?

Like I Never Left (Prod. By Konvict) – Whitney Houston Feat. Akon