So apparently Whitney Houston was a good singer. I did not know this. Mostly because I was not alive during the 1980s, but also because I have no use for powerfully voiced divas unless their names rhyme with Schmadele or they’re recently dead.
The last point seems to be a bit contentious, if the state of my social networks post-Whitney is any indication. The swarm of “Oh my God I can’t believe Whitney died she was so talented” reactions was followed up in good time by a swarm of “Oh give me a break you guys didn’t give a fuck about Whitney Houston two days ago why do you suddenly care about her” tweets. My reaction to her death was closer to the first one. I suddenly want to learn about Whitney Houston. If anyone from the second group has a problem with that (I’m looking at you, Wil Wheaton), I’ll say this: That's what you do when someone dies. You celebrate the good aspects of their life, and if said dead person happens to be famous and you didn’t know the good aspects of his or her life, then you try to learn about them.
So say you’re like me. You want to learn Whitney Houston’s music so you can appreciate her life, but you’ve never been big on ballads. Maybe you need the musical equivalent of a gateway drug to Whitney. Luckily, we live in a world where Girl Talk headlines Lollapalooza and everyone is obsessed with mashups. Here are some cool Whitney-based mashups to help you realize the power of her voice without sitting through pop ballads.
“How Will I Fax Berlin?” - Whitney Houston vs. Deadmau5
The best mashups are those that combine powerful vocals with awe-inspiring instrumentals. So what better application of that formula than a combination of Whitney’s powerful voice with the cool instrumentals of Deadmau5? You can even sort of dance to it.
“Dancing On My Own With Somebody Who Loves Me” - Whitney Houston vs. Robyn
Isn’t it fun when mashups work? Even if this particular combo is more of an alternation between two different songs than a fusion of them, it’s fun. Plus, the titles combine together pretty neatly.
“How Will I Know We Found Love” - Whitney Houston vs. Rihanna
See, I’m a sucker for mashups that combine the titles of their component songs. Also the song “We Found Love.” I can’t get enough of it. Don’t judge. This is a time for celebration.
“I Wanna Dance With Somebody” - Whitney Houston vs. “Levels” by Avicii
Whitney’s voice has at least one thing in common with Avicii’s music: both of them are perfect for mashups. And even if this isn’t the greatest Avicii-based mashup, you can’t go wrong by combining perfection with perfection.