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MUSIC . . . CISSY HOUSTON'S FACE TO FACE: A former member of the '60s R.-and-B. quartet 'The Sweet Inspirations,' Cissy Houston isn't as famous as her superstar daughter Whitney, but her new album Face to Face shows she's got a throat made from the same 18-karat gold. And although the elder Houston's new album probably won't sell as well as slicker, more contemporary-sounding gospel releases -- and it certainly won't move as many units as the typical Whitney CD -- its unabashed religiosity indicates that Houston has her sights set on a higher, very personal audience of One. "Gospel has roots in the blues, and Houston brings the music back to its source," says TIME's Christopher John Farley. "All the songs on the album, from the proud, soaring 'Too Close' to the confessional 'Face to Face,' have the earthy intimacy of top-notch blues. Along the way, Houston also turns in a patient, slow-building, ultimately satisfying rendition of 'Amazing Grace' -- an impressive feat, since the song has been covered so exhaustively by other performers that it's nearly impossible to find a fresh take. It's Motown with angels' wings, and gospel at its finest -- taking something secular and making it divine.