Whitney Houston had managed to transform a blameless country song into the mother of all power ballads. Within a year of its release, the number was every other Lite FM listener’s all-time favorite love song. The theory seemed to be that the louder you bellowed it the more romantic it got. In Britain, people began requesting it for funerals, which is marginally less ridiculous than, as many others did, requesting it for weddings – even though it’s a song about parting:
If I should stay
I would only be in your way
So I’ll go
But I know
I’ll think of you ev’ry step of the way…
Not exactly "for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health". But, by that stage, it was just the ultimate all-purpose romantic ballad, and the fact that doing it Whitney-style made it all but impossible for most folks to sing only added to its karaoke klassik status. It’s the archetype of the Houston-we-have-a-problem approach: a crazed melismatic pile-up in which the object seems to be to make the one-letter word “I” into a world-record polysyllable: “And I-I-I-I-I-I…”
As Steyn says: "Truly a terrifying Weapon of Mass Destruction." And you gotta ask: What is it about Whitney Houston and murderous Arab megalomaniacs?