Producers: Mervyn Warren, Whitney Houston, Stephen Lipson, Rickey Minor, Babyface, David Foster.
Engineers: Frank Wolf, Michael White, Heff Moraes, Joseph Magee, Wayne Linsey, Paul Ericksen, Brad Gilderman, Felipe Elgueta, Tony Shepard, Ron Banks.
THE PREACHER'S WIFE was nominated for a 1988 Grammy Award for Best R&B Album. "I Believe In You And Me" was nominated for a 1998 Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.
That renaissance gal is at it again. As in THE BODYGUARD, Whitney Houston does double duty as star and soundtrack provider for THE PREACHER'S WIFE. Don't look for her to be sticking to the commercial pop-R&B sound that served her so well on her last soundtrack album, though. THE PREACHER'S WIFE finds Houston reaching back to her roots in gospel, and collaborating with some stellar gospel artists, including her mother, Cissy.
Several cuts here, including "Hold On, Help Is On The Way" and "I Go To The Rock," find the soulful Georgia Mass Choir supporting Houston in her return to the fold. On "He's All Over Me," Houston is joined by gospel great Shirley Caesar as well. On a more modern tip, Houston delivers "Somebody Bigger Than You And I," accompanied by a veritable who's-who of contemporary R&B, including her husband, Bobby Brown, and Brown's New Edition bandmates Johnny Gill and Ralph Tresvant. THE PREACHER'S WIFE not only shows where Houston is headed, it proves she hasn't forgotten where she's been.
Like The Bodyguard and Waiting to Exhale before it, The Preacher's Wife is a soundtrack that also functions as a Whitney Houston album, but that's where the similarity ends. Where The Bodyguard was adult contemporary pop at its finest and Waiting to Exhale was a virtual encyclopedia of mid-'90s mainstream black pop, The Preacher's Wife is an attempt at gospel-soul. Much of the music on the soundtrack was composed by Babyface, who normally can pull off such fusion. Babyface's pop material and David Foster's production of Houston's "I Believe in You and Me" are the most successful cuts, bar Kirk Franklin's exuberant "Joy," which utterly puts the other gospel cuts on the album to shame. So, there are enough strong cuts to make The Preacher's Wife worthwhile, but anyone who is looking for Houston strutting like a diva will likely be disappointed. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine