New Tune From Whitney Houston Jan 2, 2023 12:51:08 GMT -4
Post by Admin on Jan 2, 2023 12:51:08 GMT -4
The newly released Whitney Houston biopic I Wanna Dance with Somebody might have met with mixed reviews; but its accompanying 35-cut soundtrack has quickly resonated with fans for its rich combination of Houston classics and previously unreleased gems.
A key newly unvaulted selection from the album is “Far Enough,” a mellow, midtempo groove that Houston worked on with frequent collaborator Michael Masser (“All at Once,” “Didn’t We Almost Have It All”). During her unstoppable hit run of the late 1980s and early ‘90s, however, her mainstay producer was Narada Michael Walden. It’s no surprise, then, that Walden was called upon to put together the pieces of the unfinished “Far Enough” for inclusion on I Wanna Dance with Somebody.
The track coasts along with the smoothness of Houston’s 1987 cover of The Isley Brothers’ “For the Love of You” (produced by Walden), and her pointedly understated vocal delivery conjures memories of Masser’s contribution to 1990’s I’m Your Baby Tonight, “After We Make Love.” Still, there’s a certain modern quality to the completed “Far Enough.” SoulTracks caught up with Walden to get more insight into the wonderfully delightful marvel that has resulted.
Narada Michael Walden: Sony brought “Far Enough” to my attention and sent over a hundred tracks of Whitney’s voice to me, along with a piano track from Michael Masser. I started comping the vocals to make it sound like one performance. I wanted it to be what I always did with Whitney and still emulate what Michael was doing. Every session I ever did with her was under three hours. But when you’re comping tracks, you can lose your fearlessness easily. So, you’ve gotta go into the spirit world and do it really quickly—just go with the flow. I then called in David Frazier, the chief mixer on all of the material I did with Whitney. He put his touch on it, running mics for Whitney’s sound. What we got is a very sophisticated sound.
These days, everything’s more simplified in terms of chord changes and loops. But “Far Enough” required the kind of sensibility that Whitney’s early records had. My nephew, Chris Walden, Jr., gave me a current beat to help make everything go down like candy when it’s spinach! Then, I found the tracks of Whitney talking, and it all came together beautifully.
It’s no secret to longtime Houston devotees that the legend revered so highly for belting out timeless ballads like “The Greatest Love of All” and “I Will Always Love You” could master just as compellingly a smooth and seductive performance when the mood called for it. Those moments, however, often remained as hidden album nuggets which weren’t in the commercial spotlight. Now, “Far Enough” serves to remind both diehard listeners and new recruits who’ve witnessed I Wanna Dance with Somebody in theaters to appreciate just how comfortable she was at taking on the role of romantic chanteuse—with no need to go over the top when they lyric simply called for sultry and breezy.
Check out “Far Enough” below and rediscover a side of Houston that was often overshadowed in her lifetime.