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 Just Whitney

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PostSubject: Just Whitney   Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:55 pm


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PostSubject: Re: Just Whitney   Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:55 pm

Just Whitney… is the fifth studio album by American pop/R&B singer Whitney Houston, released by Arista Records on December 10, 2002 (see 2002 in music) in North America. The album was mixed with R&B, Hip Hop songs and ballads. The album debuted at number nine on the Billboard 200 chart and number three on Hip Hop/R&B albums. It became Houston's first album not to have Clive Davis involved. The album spawned four singles. The lead single "Whatchulookinat" released in 2002 peaked at #96 on Billboard Hot 100 and topped the Hot Dance Club Play charts. Internationally, the song performed better peaking inside the top forty in most countries. The second single released was "One of Those Days" - a Hip Hop influenced song. The album performed better than the previous single peaking at #72 and #29 on Hip Hop/R&B songs, but performed poorly on International markets. The third single was "Try It on My Own" which became an Adult Contemporary hit reaching #10 on the chart and also topped the Dance Club Play chart. The final single was "Love That Man" - which was commissioned as a remix single which topped the Dance Club Play chart. None of the songs reached top forty.[2] A video single of "Try It on My Own" achieved gold status in the United States. The album has sold about 3 million copies worldwide.[3]

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PostSubject: Re: Just Whitney   Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:56 pm

Background and Recording

After renewing her deal with Arisa for a record $100 million, Houston started working on her album. In an interview with Billboard, Houston said about the album[4]
"I wanted to create a postive, feel-good, very soul-oriented album, something I felt was missing. I hear a lot of things on the radio, but I don't hear any R&B songs with a bold, new flavour...songs you can sing along to and love the melody. That's what I was looking for."
Her previous album My Love Is Your Love was filled with hip hop and reggae jams, but Just Whitney took a more R&B approach.[4] This also marked the first time Houston did not work with Clive Davis. She worked with Arista Records CEO, L.A. Reid, who had produced her previous hits like I'm Your Baby Tonight and My Name Is Not Susan. L.A. Reid said about the album,
"We really wanted to re-establish a core urban base for Whitney. It was important to do that, because for an artist of her caliber, it's easy to get lost and start to not pay attention or understand the value in our core urban market. That's so key for her. It's not like it once was: We made records that were black pop for years. And now that same black pop doesn't work. If you look at black artists with success, you find they're making music for their core and not necessarily designed for the masses."[4]
Houston worked with many producers for the album. It includes Kevin Briggs, Dwight Renolds, Missy Elliot, Teddy Bishop, Gordon Chambers, Rob Fusari, Troy Taylor, and longtime collaborator Babyface. Apart from these producers, she also worked with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and Rodney Jerkins. [5]But their works didn't make it to the final cut. Singer Tweet also worked on some songs, but the final contribution that made the album was Background vocals on the song "Things You Say".[4]
Recording took place in many places which includes Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles and New Jersey.[4]

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PostSubject: Re: Just Whitney   Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:56 pm

Commercial Performance

In the United States, Just Whitney was released on December 10, 2002. A week before Just Whitney's release, Mariah Carey had released her highly anticipated album Charmbracelet. Previous month Jennifer Lopez's album This Is Me... Then sold 314,000 copies in its first week. Pressure started to build up between the record companies and the fans, and this came to be called "Duel of the Divas 2002" - a term coined by Dave Ferman of Star-Telegram.[6]. Carey's Charmbracelet sold 240,000 copies in its first week and this put in more pressure. Eventually, Just Whitney debuted at number nine on Billboard 200 with 205,147 copies sold in its first week and a position better than her previous effort My Love Is Your Love and also debuted at number three on R&B/Hip Hop albums chart. [7]But, the album failed to sell more copies, the following weeks and thus never saw a higher peak on the charts. The album remained in the Billboard 200 charts for 26 weeks, thus becoming a respectable sellet. It was certified Platinum by RIAA on January. According to Nielsen Soundscan, the album has sold 737,000 copies in the United States.[8]
In European territories, the album performed poorly as compared to the United States. In France, the album peaked at number twenty five and was certified Gold by Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique (SNEP) on December 12, 2002. [9] In Switzerland, the album debuted and peaked at number ten and was certified Platinum. [10] The album also peaked at number seventy in Netherlands; number sixteen in Germany and number twenty in Italy. It was also certified Gold in Brazil.[11] Worldwide the album has sold about 3 million copies.[3]

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PostSubject: Re: Just Whitney   Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:56 pm

Critical Reception

[hide] Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic [12]
BBC (Postive)
Entertainment Weekly B- [13]
Rolling Stone [14]
Slant [15]
Yahoo! Music [16]
While the album was slated for an international release of November 26, 2002, the album leaked on to internet on October 19, 2002 - a month before its release. Roger Friedman of Fox News reviewed the songs and said, "The album does have at least three hit singles, starting with a power ballad called "On My Own". Despite all the rumors and gossip about her health, her drug problems, weight marriage etc..., Houston's trademark voice sounds as good as ever on the best songs here"[17]. The album was pushed to a release date of December 10, 2002 which was its official release date.
Critical response to Just Whitney... were mixed with aggregated reviews on Metacritic awarding the album, 53/100.[18]Most critics praised the effort of Houston to bring back the "old school vibe". But, the album as a whole was not well received. Entertainment Weekly, gave the album a B- saying, "Just Whitney... has a refreshingly old-school vibe. Whatever her personal problems, our gal [sic] sounds plucky and on top of her game.". It also said, "Still, in her third decade as a diva, Houston remains a formidable role model for American Idol wannabes."[13]
BBC also gave a postive review saying, "With one of the exceptional voices in contemporary music, her latest album, aptly titled Just Whitney sees the diva return to her former glory with a combination of high-voltage ballads and smooth-liqueur R&B."[19]
Josh Tyrangiel of TIME gave a mixed review saying,
"Just Whitney...has loads of energy. Negative energy. Houston is still one of the dozen best singers in the world, and her defiance would be worth slogging through if she'd just ululate a little. But with the exception of On My Own, an elegant twist on Diana Ross's It's My Turn. Instead, Houston talk-sings over a series of dry R&B, pop and gospel riffs. Whether her reluctance to hit the top of her range is a sign of a deteriorating voice or an unwillingness to please is hard to know.[20]
Los Angeles Times also gave a similar review saying,
"Just Whitney" suffers from the sense of career desperation that surrounded Michael Jackson's recent CDs. She and four dozen writers and producers work so hard finding another hit, they lose track of the human qualities that made her music so formidable.[21]
Rollingstone said that the album "Lacked any fire whatsoever" and her rendition of Debby Boone's You Light Up My Life is the most disappointing of all and gave it two stars out of five. It also said that Houston could take a classic song and make it all her own, but her rendition of the sing showed an artist vainly trying to reach for what her future once could have been[14]. Similarly, Billboard commented that the album appeared and sounded more like a work-in-progress than a finished disc. [18]
Most of the critics commented on her performance of the song "Try It On My Own" and called it out a stand out on the album. [22]

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PostSubject: Re: Just Whitney   Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:56 pm

Track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "One of Those Days" Kevin Briggs, O'Kelly Isley, Jr., Rudolph Isley, Ronald Isley, Ernie Isley, Marvin Isley, Chris Jasper, Dwight Reynolds, Patrice Stewart Kevin Briggs 4:10
2. "Tell Me No" Babyface, Kandi Burruss, Holly Lamar, Annie Roboff Babyface 3:44
3. "Things You Say" Charlie Bereal, Kenny Bereal, Missy Elliott, Tweet CKB , Missy Elliott 4:13
4. "My Love" (featuring Bobby Brown) Ted Bishop, Gordon Chambers, Greg Charley Gordon Chambers, Ted Bishop 3:28
5. "Love That Man" Babyface, Rob Fusari, Calvin Gaines, Eritza Laues, Bill Lee, Balewa Muhammad Babyface, Rob Fusari 3:28
6. "Try It on My Own" Babyface, Jason Edmonds, Carole Bayer Sager, Aleese Simmons, Nathan Walton Babyface 4:39
7. "Dear John Letter" Briggs, Dwight Reynolds, Patrice Stewart Briggs 4:34
8. "Unashamed" Darius Good, Luke Paterno, Stephanie Salzman, Troy Taylor Troy Taylor, Darius Good, Luke Paterna 3:38
9. "You Light Up My Life" Joe Brooks Babyface, Rickey Minor 3:42
10. "Whatchulookinat" Tammie Harris, Houston, Andre Lewis, Muhammad, Harry Palmer, Christopher Stain, Deborah Harry, Lawrence Parker, Jesse West Bobby Brown, Muhammad 2G 3:33
[show]International Edition
[show]Limited Edition: Bonus DVD

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PostSubject: Re: Just Whitney   Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:56 pm

Promotions

Houston appeared on the Primetime Live, hosted by Diane Sawyer to promote the album. Her appearance was disastrous, but the episode became one of the most viewed episodes.[23]She also appeared on Good Morning America and performed live.[23] At the 2002 MTV Europe Music Awards, Houston performed "Whatchulookinat". [24]Other than these no other major events or tours were held to promote the album.[23]

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PostSubject: Re: Just Whitney   Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:57 pm

Chart (2002) Peak
position
Austrian Albums Chart[25] 33
Dutch Albums Chart[26] 70
French Albums Chart[27] 25
German Albums Chart[28] 16
Italian Albums Chart[29] 20
Swiss Albums Chart[10] 10
U.S. Billboard 200[30] 9
U.S. Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[30] 3

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PostSubject: Re: Just Whitney   Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:57 pm

Certifications
Region Provider Certification
(sales thresholds) Sales/
shipments
Brazil ABPD Gold [11] 40,000+
France SNEP Gold[9] 50,000+
Japan RIAJ Gold[citation needed] 100,000+
Switzerland IFPI Platinum[31] 30,000+
United States RIAA Platinum[32] 737,000[8]
Worldwide 3,00,000+

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PostSubject: Re: Just Whitney   Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:57 pm

Singles - Billboard (U.S.)
Year Single Chart Peak
position
2002 "One of Those Days" Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks 29
The Billboard Hot 100 72
"Whatchulookinat" Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks 75
The Billboard Hot 100 96
Hot Dance Music/Club Play 1
2003 "Love That Man" Hot Dance Music/Club Play 1
"Try It on My Own" Adult Contemporary 10
Hot Dance Music/Club Play 1
Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks 80
The Billboard Hot 100 84

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PostSubject: Re: Just Whitney   Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:58 pm

Soul Train Awards
Year Nominated work Award Result
2003 "Just Whitney" The Soul Train Lady Of Soul Award [33] Nominated

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PostSubject: Re: Just Whitney   Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:58 pm

Personnel

Whitney Houston - vocals, background vocals
Babyface - acoustic guitar, keyboard, background vocals
Ted Bishop - keyboard
Bobby Brown - vocals
Kevin "Shekspere" Briggs - MIDI
Gordon Chambers - background vocals
Greg Charley - guitar
Nathan East - bass
Sherree Ford-Payne - background vocals
Sharlotte Gibson - background vocals
Gary Houston - background vocals
Kenya Ivey - background vocals
Latrelle - background vocals
Ricky Lawson - drums
Wayne Linsey - Fender Rhodes
Bill Meyers - string conductor
Greg Phillinganes - piano
Antonique Smith - background vocals
Michael Hart Thompson - guitar
Tweet - background vocals
Randy Waldman - string conductor

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PostSubject: Re: Just Whitney   Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:58 pm

Production

Producers: Babyface, Charile "CSUN" Bereal, Kenny Bereal, Ted Bishop, Kevin "She'kspere" Briggs, Bobby Brown, Gordon Chambers, Missy Elliott, Rob Fusari, Whitney Houston, Ricky Minor, Muhammad2G, Troy Taylor
Vocal producers: Gordon Chambers, Troy Taylor, Tweet
Engineers: Ted Bishop, Paul Boutin, Kevin "She'kspere" Briggs, Terrence Cash, Cortez Farris, Kevin Guarnieri, Scott Kieklak, Mike White
Assistants: Tom Bender, Matt Brown, Steve Fisher, Steve Genewick, Jimmy Hoyson, Marc Stephen Lee, Josean Posey, Dennis Rivadeneira, Craig "Niteman" Taylor
Mixing: Kevin "KD" Davis, Jon Gass, Mick Guzauski, Manny Marroquin
Mastering: Herb Powers
A&R: Joey Arbagey, Shawndella Taylor, Theresa Wilson
Production coordination: Melanie Byrd, Ivy Skoff
Programming: Troy Taylor
Drum programming: Babyface, Ted Bishop
String engineer: Tommy Vicari, Jeffrey "Woody" Woodruff
Arrangers: Ted Bishop, Kevin "She'kspere" Briggs
Rhythm arrangements: Troy Taylor
String arrangements: Bill Meyers, Randy Waldman
Cocal arrangement: Ted Bishop, Gordon Chambers, Whitney Houston
Creative director: Joe-Mama Nitzberg
Art direction: Jeffrey Schulz
Design: Jeffrey Schulz
Photography: Sheryl Nields
Make-up: Roxanna Floy
Hair stylist: Ellin La Var
Stylist: Patti Wilson

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