Barry White

The Icon Is Love

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AllMusic Review by

Barry White has been to the top of the charts an admirable number of times, but only one of his hits was a ballad (a studio effort for the Quincy Jones album Back on the Block that included El DeBarge, James Ingram and Al B. Sure!). However, as a solo artist, White has never had a ballad usurp the number one spot on the Billboard charts. The Icon Is Love's featured release fills that void. "Practice What You Preach," which unites the maestro with producers Gerald LeVert and Edwin Nicholas, has a simmering arrangement, evocative lyric, and White's brawn delivery. The catchy melody and sensuous female backing vocals enhance this already stellar single. It stayed on the Billboard R&B charts for 30 weeks and had a consecutive three-week run at number one. White showcases his seductive, bassy baritone with romantic rap introductions on most of the selections. There is a balance of uptempo and balladic songs. The other two featured releases were "Come On" and "There It Is." The former is reminiscent of his days as the king of disco-swing, and the latter is a contemporary funky ballad. Respectively, they tipped in at 12 and 54. White, who is credited as producer and writer on every selection, embraces the savvy writing talents of industry veterans Barry Eastmond and Michael Lovesmith, and the keen production skills of Chuckii Booker (his godson), Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, and Jack Perry.

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