Sunday, 6 January 2019

Barry White - Just Another Way To Say I Love You (1975)


Released March 1975

To be perfectly honest, after three excellent, innovative and genre-changing soul albums this fourth album from Barry White was starting to sound a little formulaic. His lush, beautifully orchestrated extended soul invocations to get it on had been something really different in 1973, but now, two years down the line, the punch and rhythm of disco was beginning to make itself known (ironically in parts due to White's Love Unlimited Orchestra's "Love's Theme") and this sort of material was starting to sound a little dated, even after just two years.


1. Heavenly, That's What You Are To Me
2. I'll Do For You Anything You Want Me To
3. All Because Of You
4. Love Serenade (Pt. 1)
5. What Am I Gonna Do With You
6. Let Me Life My Life Lovin' You Babe
7. Love Serenade (Pt. II)                                      

Admittedly, White tried to up the pace somewhat with the slightly disco-ish rhythm of the (comparatively) upbeat "Heavenly, That's What You Are To Me". The liveliness continues with the beautifully bassy "I'll Do For You Anything You Want Me To" (more of those long titles!). This was a hit single and was a good one. The laid-back "big love" feelings are back, however, with the sumptuous "All Because Of You", which once again has White growling his exhortations of love to his lady over a sublime strings, lilting guitar and bass backing. This is classic stuff, but album after album of it was beginning to get a bit samey.

"Love Serenade (Pt. 1)" is almost a self-parody as White whispers "take off those clothes... I don't wanna see no panties....take off that brassiere..". He pretty much speaks the whole vocal over an insistent, big production backing. As corny as it undoubtedly is, you can't help but have an affection for this stuff. It makes me very nostalgic for the mid-seventies. The other commercial-sounding single was the energetic, soulful and catchy "What Am I Gonna Do With You", which has another infectious bass line. After the animated feel of that song, it was time to settle down for the positively sleep-inducing ten minutes of "Let Me Live My Life Lovin' You Babe". "All women are the same..." states Barry, once again speaking his vocals over an addictive, slow burning backing. After three minutes it kicks in to a gently sung soul ballad, but I think most would agree that, beautiful although it certainly is in parts, it is probably a few minutes too long. Having said that, listening to it now, I am really enjoying it. "Love Serenade (Pt. II)" is a thumping, bassy instrumental to end the album.

As I said, this was a bit of a "treading water offering", particularly in its chronological and cultural position. It has to be said that the sound on the latest 2018 remaster is truly excellent, although Barry's voice sounds a bit gruff throughout, that is, of course, nothing to do with the remastering, his throat must have been going through a bad patch.


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