Bobby Womack

Understanding

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AllMusic Review by

As compelling as Bobby Womack's lacerating baritone may be, it still has that uncanny ability to be an engaging voice. This album has that timeliness appeal. It features the chart-buster in the mid-tempo number "Woman's Gotta Have It." It was a number one single on the Billboard R&B charts. In addition to the aforementioned song, Womack also features a host of other granite numbers like "Ruby Dean" and "I Can Understand It." The latter, penned by Womack, was also covered by New Birth. Both versions are excellent. However, Womack's version has a soothing effect as it employs a sensuous string arrangement while New Birth's rendition is rather funky, retaining a spirited horn arrangement. Womack's version was never a release. "Harry Hippie" is a narrative about his brother and former bandmate Harris Womack. It checked in at number eight. The Ohio native's unique trait to calm a song with his blistering baritone re-surfaces on "Sweet Caroline," the album's third and final release. For a song to be so sweet and gentle, Womack enhances the flavor of this sentimental number with a heartfelt, soulful approach. It slipped into the Top 20 at 16. By all standards, this album is stirring.

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