Picks and Pans Review: I'm Your Baby Tonight

updated 12/10/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/10/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

Whitney Houston

There are a few too many routine, synthesizer-heavy, L.A. Reid-Babyface dance numbers on Houston's third album. "All the Man That I Need," an effective, down-tempo change of pace by Dean Pitchford and Michael Gore, is heavy on banal lyrics: "He fills me up/ He gives me love/ More love than I've ever seen/ He's all I've got." The Luther Vandross-Hubert Eaves III tune "Who Do You Love" mars an otherwise insidiously insistent song with the line "So I keep praying to the stars above."

And let's face it, Houston still sounds so rich and true, she's almost enough to make you forget Mariah Carey already. So if every song doesn't make you melt into your socks, you feel a little cheated.

You expect Michael Jordan to score 30 points every game; you expect Houston to dazzle you every time she opens her mouth.

Which is all by way of saying that if Houston thought she could shut critics up by recording a tartly appealing Stevie Wonder song about friendship turning into love, "We Didn't Know"—and recording it as a touching duet with Wonder himself—she was right. (Arista)

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