Sunday, 13 January 2019

Barry White - Barry White Sings For Someone You Love (1977)


Released August 1977

After treading water considerably for a year or so, Barry White slightly tweaked his sound for this album to a more slick, polished soul sound with more of a beat and the vocals sung as opposed to whispered or growled. The result is a pretty good album, with excellent sound quality too.


1. Playing Your Game, Baby
2. It's Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next To Me
3. You're So Good, You're Bad
4. Never Thought I'd Fall In Love With You
5. You Turned My Whole World Around
6. Oh What A Night For Dancing
7. Of All The Guys In The World                                

"Playing Your Game, Baby" has a melodic, mid-pace and pleasing feel about it, which a solidity and a strong, firm soulful vocal from Barry. It is sung, not whispered. "It's Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next To Me" taps into the contemporary disco trend with a rhythmic, disco-ish groover. It was Barry's most "disco" groove thus far, with a captivating, insistent drum-driven beat and a good vocal too. "You're So Good, You're Bad" has an infectious Latin-style rhythm in its extended intro. Again, it is quite pulsating and upbeat (comparatively) with some of his previous material. Once more, the vocal is good and the croaky throat problems that seemed to beset White on 1975's "Just Another Way To Say I Love You"are now long gone.

"Never Thought I'd Fall In Love With You" has a Philadelphia soul vibe to it, with lots of sweeping strings and a gentle brass sound. Just when you thought the album would pass by without a sleepy, "come over here baby", semi spoken vocal track, we get the lengthy romantic late night groove of "You Turned My Whole World Around". It already sounds a nostalgic track for 1973-74. Time for bed? Not quite yet, baby. "Oh What A Night For Dancing" is up next with its sweet soul tones and Barry sounding very much like Teddy Pendergrass. It is not as upbeat a track as you might imagine, but it has a Harold Melvin-esque soul punch. It is quite an unusual type of soul for Barry White. "Of All The Guys in The World" sees Barry's female backing vocalists join him on a horn-driven but rather unremarkable closer to the album.

The old "side one" (the first three tracks) is definitely the best part of the album, however, the second side just seems to drift away a little. Barry White's best recording days were over by now, but this one kept the fires burning just a little longer.


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