Monday, December 17, 2007
No. 281: Can't Get Enough
Band: Barry White
Album: Can't Get Enough
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: The Maestro of Love's third album was also hit biggest hit (it hit no. 1 on both the R&B and pop charts). It cemented him as something of a pop culture icon (oh, that voice).
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: It's certainly great for the culture as a whole, but the Luther Vandrosses and the Teddy Pendergrasses of the world certainly had more of an effect on music.
Best song: How can I not say “Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe?”
Worst song: "I Can't Believe You Love Me" is too long (over 10 minutes) and not good.
Is it awesome?: Not really.
I'm showing my age here again, but I can't really find a lot to love about “Can't Get Enough.” It's nice, but this sort of loungey singer type stuff is a whole lot of nonsense. The music – I hope you like strings – is fine, but it's nothing exciting. It's overproduced and appears to try very hard.
And then, the voice. The old standard joke about Barry White's voice is that he could say just about anything and be sensual. Certainly, I used to joke with friends in high school that he could say some filthy stuff – the type of stuff that only R. Kelly thinks about – and women would swoon.
It's a funny joke, but, really, his voice is nothing if not distinctive. Isaac Hayes (with whom White made a duet record) has a distinctive speaking voice, but his singing voice isn't nearly as much a signature as White's. Obviously, there's value in that, but it would be better if he sang something other than, I'm sorry, lounge music.
One of the problems with White's existence is that every man in America does three impressions: Richard Nixon, Elvis Presley and Barry White. Nearly every comedy troupe and standup (I'm thinking specifically of Craig Shoemaker) does some “oooohhhhhh, yeaaaaaaaaagh” nonsense. So, uh, that sucks.
Most importantly, though, hearing White's voice swearing a blue streak is funny Here he is, messing up a radio spot. You can thank me later.