My Love Is Your Love

Nobody expects the queen of England to rule on affairs of state, and nobody really minds when Whitney Houston takes her time making actual records. My Love Is Your Love is the first time in eight years that Her Majesty has bothered with a proper album, and while it doesn't boast a classic like "I Will Always Love You" or "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)," it's easily her most consistent album ever — in fact, it's her first consistent album. Houston gets creative juice from young R&B hotshots like Lauryn Hill (on a "bonus" track), Rodney Jerkins and Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott; on the excellent title track, Wyclef gives Houston the sexiest Bob Marley rip-off he's ever written. The former ingenue has some grown-up scars now, singing the marital blues with a bite in her voice that she's never come close to before. Did you think she'd crumble? Did you think she'd lay down and die? Then check out My Love, pal, and hear Houston prove beyond a doubt that she will survive.