Apparently, Australian concertgoers are a little spicier than most.

A couple months ago, they went off on Britney Spears after what they considered a subpar performance by her, saying that they weren’t expecting so much lip-synching (have they been living under a ROCK for the past ten years?). Now they’ve turned their attention to Whitney Houston, who brought her “Nothing But Love” tour to the land down under.

As I’m sure you know, Whitney’s been through a lot of stuff this past decade or so, and her voice is nowhere near what it was back when she was the Queen of Pop in the late Eighties and early Nineties. Folks have been commenting on the diva’s diminished vocal prowess since she started her comeback on the Today Show (or was it Good Morning America?) back in September. Judging from the clips I saw of the show on the ‘Net, if I was there I’d probably be pissed too, ESPECIALLY if I paid $165 for that shit. I admit, I don’t know what the exchange rate is, but I’ll be damned if I spend a hundred bucks to hear ANYONE sing unless they are singing DIRECTLY to me. Anyway, Whitney obviously struggles through “I Will Always Love You”, as evidenced in the video after the jump. It’s a pretty sad sight, and I can’t say that the fans who dissed the performance were wrong. I would have stayed for the whole show though. Walk out in the middle and you’ve pretty much guaranteed that you will be short-changed.

For what it’s worth, I actually prefer Whitney’s last 3 or 4 records to the stuff that made her popular. She may have lost her range, but in the process, she gained soul. One thing I dislike about young singers like Beyonce and Joss Stone is that they have powerful voices, but they don’t have the life experience to make a song truly soulful. On the other hand, think of women like Mary J. Blige, who are not technically perfect vocalists, but you can feel every single note they utter, whether it’s pitch-perfect or off-key. Take a song like “How Will I Know”, which is cute, well-sung and fluffy. Then take a song like “Why Does it Hurt So Bad”, which is heartfelt and real, even though Whitney’s voice damn near cracks at certain points during the song.

I hope Whitney’s clean and sober, and that she takes care of what’s left of her voice, since the years of drug abuse (and let’s not forget that Whitney’s a cigarette smoker) seem to have taken their toll. After viewing the Australian footage, though, I think I might take a pass on checking her out when she comes to town next, though.

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