Starting Your Dreams Later In Life and Embracing the Detour

Jenee Darden speaking at Creative Mornings I know it's been a while since I've posted anything but that's because of my job. I'm working as a reporter covering Oakland and I host an arts segment on the radio where I get to interview amazing artists from around the Bay Area. Plus I'm publicizing my book  and building my speaking career!  You know what's funny? I thought this would all happen by the time I was 27-30.  Nope. That wasn't God's plan for me. I'm finally beginning to do the things I've wanted to do and I'm almost 40 years old. Some people reading this who are 40 will say 40 is still young. But some younger people reading may think 40 is nearly ancient. But I'm writing this post for those who like me, thought their career and personal dreams would come true much early in life. I'm here to tell you not to give up.  You know, death inspires life. A number of my relatives and friends have passed away, ranging in

Welcome Back Whitney

It's been seven years since Whitney Houston's powerful voice captivated our ears. If you're a real Whitney fan, it's been a rough seven years. We've watched her struggle through drug abuse and a turbulent to marriage to ex-husband Bobby Brown. Now Miss Whitney is back with her new album I Look To You. In an era of music where vocal skills or knowing how to lip sync are not required for a record deal (like this mess) I welcome Houston's return.

Executive producer Clive Davis brought out the "big guns" for this project--R. Kelly, Alicia Keys, Swizz Beatz, Diane Warren, David Foster and others. I listened to the album three times. Houston's voice is not the same. She still sounds good, but you can tell drugs and cigarettes have taken a toll on her vocals. I was also disappointed there wasn't an emotional ballad that blew me away--something along the likes of songs from Waiting to Exhale or Bodyguard soundtracks.

But don't count Whitney out. She captures you from the jump on the first track "Million Dollar Bill." Alicia Keys and Swizz Beats co-produced the funky tune, reminiscent of a 70s disco beat. Houston sings about fighting her demons in the title track "I LookTo You." R. Kelly wrote that song along with "Salute." "Salute" is one of those songs you play after getting rid of a man because you're tired of his mess. In it she refers to herself as a "soldier girl" and sings:

"Took me all of these years to realize that you don't belong here. I can do better. You say I'll never do better? Yeah, right. Whatever."

The song I keep replaying is "I Got You." Akon gave this song about unconditional love a chill sound with a hint of island beats.

I Look To You is not my favorite Whitney Houston album but it features good songs. Houston has a loyal fan base and I imagine she's going to sell a lot of copies when it hit shelves and iTunes. The record company pushed her album release date up to Monday Aug 31 so she can be in the running for a Grammy nod. Whether she wins or doesn't win a Grammy is not important to me. After the way Michael Jackson left us I'm happy Houston is still here, looking good, and singing again. We missed you Whitney. Welcome Back.

You can hear Whitney Houston's entire album on her website here. Or click on the picture below. Give it a listen and let me know what you think.

Set your DVRs! Whitney debuts on Good Morning America this coming Tuesday Sept. 1st and sits down with Oprah on Monday Sept. 14. Can't Wait!!!!


  1. Thanks Cocoa Fly,

    I'm going to listen to her album today @ work. I can't seem to get any work done without music. I always said that if I was stranded on an island left with the entire catalog (features included) of 3 musicians of my choosing, they would be Whitney, Mary J. and Michael.

    Also, I discovered this band while working out at the gym here. I think they're pretty darn hot the lead singer is drop dead gorg....check them out.

    Miss One

  2. Hi Miss One,

    Whitney, Mary J and Michael are great choices if you're stranded on an island. I'm glad Whitney's record company put the whole album online to give us a chance to hear it. I saw the Noisettes on Wendy Williams a few weeks. They're a cool band. Thanks for the info and thanks for reading.

  3. Thanks Cocoa Fly for letting us know about Whitney's upcoming appearance on Oprah. I haven't listened to her new CD, but I will tonight. She was blessed with an amazing set of vocals, but she didn't take care of them, and this is the end result. In any case I wish her well.


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