Barry White

Is This Whatcha Wont?

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After an incredible three-year run of topflight material and several chart-toppers, Barry White's star began to dip a bit with this 1976 release. Though not as disappointing as later albums like Sheet Music, Is This Whatcha Wont? still wears thin at times because of some weak tracks -- "Don't Make Me Wait Too Long" and "Now I'm Gonna Make Love to You" find White recycling past glories and stretching his proto-disco magic a wee thin. Maybe he was just opting for a lighter production approach than before, but even taken more as pop ephemera and less like some dancefloor classics, these tracks still falter, especially under the weight of White's preferred extended-mix mode. Nevertheless, there's a lot of quality stuff to be had, especially sensual slow burners like "I Wanna Lay Down With You Baby" and "Your Love -- So Good I Can't Take It" (the latter featuring fine work by White's guitarist at the time, Ray Parker, Jr.). Also included here is the up-tempo hit and Philly bump sound-alike "I'm Qualified to Satisfy You." There are plenty of White and Gene Page's top-notch arrangements, too; during the disco era, who did strings better than these two? Those who want to explore White's output from the latter half of the '70s should first check out the excellent Let the Music Play. White fans, though, could certainly do a lot worse than picking up this highly enjoyable record.

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