Sunday, 6 January 2019

Earth Wind & Fire - That's The Way Of The World (1975)


Released March 1975

This was the album that established EW&F as global soul superstars. It sold lots and solidly developed their instantly recognisable style of brass-powered sweet, funky soul and led in the creation of this kind of soul within the broad genre. The tracks alternate between energetic funk and sublime ballads.


1. Shining Star
2. That's The Way Of The World
3. Happy Feelin'
4. All About Love
5. Yearnin' Learnin'
6. Reasons
7. Africano
8. See The Light                                            

"Shining Star" is an upbeat, funky, brass-driven opener with some killer guitar parts. The title track is a sumptuous soulful ballad with would soon become typical EW&F vocals. It is a track that serves to exemplify EW&F at their very best. "Happy Feelin'" starts with some delicious percussion and continues into a slice of irrepressible, upbeat, funky fun.  Some jazzy "vibes" parts in it too. "All About Love" is a slow, horn-driven ballad. The spoken part in the middle is very seventies, though.

"Yearnin' Learnin'" sees the brassy but also bassy funk return in a similar way to that of "Shining Star". "Reasons" returns to intoxicating, big production, polished balladry, with a superb falsetto vocal. "Africano" shows the group starting to experiment with ethnic, "world music" sounds and the percussion on here is outstanding, as also is the bit where the funk kicks in around two minutes in. There is also some excellent saxophone on this captivating instrumental. "See The Light" has some jazz influences in amongst its rhythmic, syncopated funk. A recommended album very much typical of its era.


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