A Date With Diva

With everyone on a budget, Advocate.com weeds through the onslaught of fall releases from divas including Whitney, Mariah, Shakira, and Christina to determine which ones are worth getting excited about.



You're a CLOS (Classy Lady of Society), but let's face it, like everyone else, you're on a budget. You're standing in line with everyone else for $5 foot-longs at Subway, but you do it wearing Prada sunglasses, second-hand vintage T-shirts, and jeans that cost half your monthly rent.

While you've got budgeting down to a science, when it comes to the music you buy, chances are you're going to need a little help. A gay is not a gay without a diva in his heart and a bounce in his step, and the last thing you need is to fill your iPod with tunes that promise to elevate and inspire, but instead only deliver a distracted pat on the back. This fall will see the return of some high-ranking women of music, but let's see who's still got it in 'em to wear that ego-encrusted tiara.

First and foremost, Whitney Houston's crazy ass is back to show you that, no matter what you've heard, she's still got it in her to always love you. I Look to You will be Whitney's seventh studio album and her first release since 2002's mediocre Just Whitney . With any luck, this new album will truly be Houston's return to a (flattering) place in the spotlight and a public regard that outshines the general bat-shit craziness and allegations of drug use and spousal abuse that have dogged her in recent years. Helping to orchestrate Whitney's return to form is a staggering ensemble of producers and collaborators enlisted for the task of creating an album that fits what's left of her rusty pipes.

In true Whitney style, the initial single, "I Didn't Know My Own Strength," is a Diane Warren-penned power ballad that'll do equally well as a sappy radio staple as it will when remixed for the dance floor, with rumored remix treatments coming from Peter Rauhofer, Junior Vasquez, and a bootleg from Offer Nissim.

Remaining collaborators include Alicia Keys, R. Kelly, Swizz Beats, David Foster, Akon, Stargate, Johnta Austin, and of course, Clive Davis. Listening parties in London, New York City, and Los Angeles have garnered rave reviews and standing ovations from guests, so from the sound of things, they did something right. Additionally, the album's release date was bumped forward a day, from September 1 to August 31, to make the album eligible for Grammy nominations in 2010. Apparently the powers that be are ready for this diva to not only make a comeback, but completely dominate.

Meanwhile, Mariah Carey's forthcoming ego trip, Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel , is currently scheduled for release on September 15. The album was pushed back from its original August 25 release date (and is rumored to potentially be bumped yet again) after the label decided not to compete with Whitney, particularly after the initial single "Obsessed" failed to even rub shoulders with the Billboard top 10.

But what did they expect?

Tags: Music