One of Whitney Houston’s final recordings has made its way online, ahead of the release of her forthcoming greatest hits album, I Will Always Love You – The Best Of Whitney Houston.
The new track, entitled ‘Never Give Up,’ begins with a rap (although the identity of the rapper is not revealed on the details of the YouTube video) and is a slow, modern R&B number, a paean to persistence and determination, as Whitney repeats the refrain “never ever give up,” after telling the tale of a single mother studying at law school “so maybe one day / she can make her way in a man’s world / and never be called just another girl.”
Posthumous releases are often hard to critique, as you’ll never really know if this track would have seen the light of day, if it wasn’t for Whitney’s tragic passing earlier this year. Perhaps it would have been re-jigged in the studio, or maybe it would have ended up on the cutting room floor. As it is, this is far from Whitney’s finest moment. The track itself doesn’t do her justice and is almost entirely devoid of melody. You can hear the change in Whitney’s voice, as she’s gotten older and wonder whether or not she would have been able to tackle the type of vocal acrobatics that characterised her earlier work.
Of course, most responses to the track on YouTube have been positive, from adoring fans; few have dared to suggest that this posthumous release may not show Whitney in the best light.