Single Review: Whitney Houston “Try It On My Own”

Try It On My Own
Album: Just Whitney
Year: 2003

After the Diane Sawyer interview, it was over for Whitney Houston. Exhibiting signs of denial, she said that her cocaine and marijuana addiction was a “bad habit…which can be broken. I’m not going to tell you I’m somebody’s junkie” and that the “party was over.”

It was then reported at MTV.com on March 16, 2004 that she was entering drug rehab. So if she can break the habit at any time whenever she likes, why the drug rehab if it’s not that big of a problem? She should’ve (and pardon the pun) come clean during the Sawyer interview. It’s a pr nightmare regardless, but she would’ve appeared as foolish.

The single released after the interview: the defensive and quietly defiant ballad “Try It On My Own.” She sings in the first verse that she is “wiser now” and “not the foolish girl you used to know.” By referring to herself as a girl, she makes herself appear as a naive, young popstars like Britney Spears. Whitney, your girlhood ended at age 18. You’re an adult and a woman now. Own up to your actions. Team Whitney didn’t handle the pr situation as well as they could’ve. However, it’s advisors or past svengalis she claims didn’t let her be who she wanted to be: “I put myself aside to do it your way/But now I need to do it all alone.”

She proclaims in the chorus that “I’m not afraid to try it on my own/I don’t care if I’m right or wrong/I’ll live my life the way I feel.” Rebellious and having a bit of a tantrum, Houston seems to want it both ways: live the party lifestyle and be street when it suits her publicly or telling us how much her faith means to her while having the same “good girl” image she had.

In the second verse, she seeks sympathy as she sings “I never had a chance to do things my way/So now it’s time for me to take control.” No, her first name ain’t Baby. It’s Whitney. Miss Houston, if you’re nasty! Please, she’s been in the buisness for nearly 20 years and has had numerous hit records. It’s hard to believe that she didn’t at least earn some control over her image through the years. If she didn’t attempt to and let her advisors do the work for her then it’s her own fault. Control is something she should’ve taken a long time ago. But it should’ve been with herself first.

In the bridge, she sings that she’s starting over and again reminds listeners that she’s going to do things the way she wants. She also lets us know that this is the only the beginning of the strength that people will see from her. (“Oh I start again go back to one/I’m running things my way/Can’t stop me now, I’ve just begun”).

Vocally, Whitney Houston sounds unconvinced of being able to ‘try it on her own.’ She’s hesitant and uptight in her delivery of the lyrics. She also feels sorries for herself, which she effectively conveys. The woman’s confused and needs to seperate her music from her issues. For the 4 minutes and 40 seconds of the single, listeners are like psychologists as Houston tells us of her woes and lack of control in life. Therapy is private for a reason, Whitney.

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