The untimely passing of Whitney Houston has seen much of the singer’s hits rocket into to the upper echelon of the charts.
However, for as much as we love Houston’s classic cuts, we’re also keen ardent appreciators of her latter material. Case, point, 2003’s ‘Try It On My Own’.
Lifted from the late star’s 5th studio album ‘Just Whitney’, the song and its accompanying were initially hailed upon release – with ample reason too. Vocally, the track would become one of the last recorded showcases of ‘The Voice’ (see: potent, textured, and effortless); while the visual underlined the track’s compelling lyrics. Lyrics which relayed a narrative of going it alone after years of corporate scaffolding.
All rather fascinating stuff given that the song’s housing album was the first and only to not feature creative input from Houston’s long-time mentor Clive Davis. Indeed, it was then-head of Arista LA Reid who took creative helm of the project.
And yet it was this juxtaposition of Whitney being in control versus a reality which saw her life spinning out of it which sunk the song and the album moreover. The media (and the masses they influence) were simply not entertaining any such “in-control” notion. Indeed, it seemed the more Whitney proclaimed it, the less people believed.
As such, ‘Try’ peaked at #84 on the Billboard Hot 100, while ‘Just Whitney’ peaked at #9 on the US album tally.
Still, neither can take away from the “stellar” that was the Babyface produced song and the ‘Just Whitney’ album moreover. Both earn a well-deserved spot next to the legend’s best material. Commercially successful or not.