Fans and critics alike are sitting on the edge of their seats, wondering about one of the biggest questions in the music business this year. Can Whitney Houston and the rest of the Soundtracks cast of leading female artists repeat the phenomenal success of "The Bodyguard," a milestone in the history of the music charts? Well, "Waiting to Exhale"and its musical lineup will surely give it the edge to be one of the biggest selling albums this winter.
This album has it all, from R and B to hip-hop. The "Waiting to Exhale" soundtrack should certainly attract a large audience. The master producer of the pop and R and B charts, Babyface, pens the entire album while the select talents of pop divas C Whitney Houston, Toni Braxton, Mary J. Blige and Brandy to the hottest starts of the hip-hop community, which include TLC, SWV, and Faith Evans C are singing the songs. Some of the best voices of R and B history appear on the soundtrack (Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, and Ce Ce Winans).
The lead single comes from Whitney Houston, who not only does three ballads, but also plays the lead role in the motion picture. The single is entitled "Exhale (Shoop, Shoop)," a song with the classic ingredients of a smash hit. Although some may tire of this formula, it once again works perfectly for Houston. Her voice propels itself against a rather slow beat (many will compare this to her former hit, "I Will Always Love You" and its instantly catchy "Shoop Shoop, Shoo Be Doop" tune will send this song straight to the top. While Whitney does have two other songs on the soundtrack, many still feel that she should start looking for something more original in future projects.
Other songs of interest include teen sensation Brandy on "Sittin in My Room" and the top-selling female group of all time, TLC, performing "This Is How It Works." However, similar to Houston's ballad, these singles sound much like previous work, but nevertheless are likely be instant hits. Nor will you find much originality on Toni Braxton's "Let It Flow," which is a duplicate of her 1993 debut album. But once again, this will likely be a smash.
This is not to say that these songs, and the album itself, are not good. As a matter of fact, this album is probably up there with "Above the Rim" and "The Lion King" as one of the best soundtracks of the decade and it is a duplicate of much of the material that has graced the music charts in the past year. If you are sick and tired of the endless glut of songs that sound the same, you should try Groove Theory or Spearhead. But for those who have yet to tire of this music, "Waiting To Exhale" will certainly quench your thirst. And only time will tell if the album will remain in the shadows of the success of "The Bodyguard" ... or will shine in its own light? .
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.