Can't Get Enough
20th Century, 1974
REVIEW BY: Bruce Rusk
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 04/28/2008
Before he ever recorded himself, Barry White was already a gold and platinum success as a producer and an arranger. When he went out on his own, success followed and his third solo release, Can’t Get Enough, made him an international superstar.
Barry created a style all his own with his deep, smoky voice and lush, complex orchestral backgrounds. The use of strings and even a full orchestra was already becoming a staple in soul music, and White took it to the limit. He didn't take his inspiration from his contemporaries, though; listen closely and there's more Duke Ellington than there is Quincy Jones in his arrangements. The lush sounds of the Love Unlimited Orchestra combined with his obvious gift for arrangement gave Barry the unique style that set him apart.
Can't Get Enough, a glorious explosion of lust and dance grooves, was the disc that topped all his successes to date. He starts things out with a short instrumental (I think it's Barry's way of giving you time to dim the lights and take the phone off the hook), which segues into a smooth bossa nova beat and Barry speaking low: “Yeah, we got it together baby / Isn't that nice...I could easily feel myself slipping more and more away to a simple world of our own / Nobody but you and me”.
Then the horns snap up and into “You're My First, My Last, My Everything.” The Latin beat and gorgeous horns make this song so infectious, it’s no surprise it became as big a hit as it was and mimicked by so many disco songs to come. The other mega hit on this disc, “Can't Get Enough Of Your Love Babe,” is another upbeat danceable number.
Barry had a gift for creating an infinitely catchy sound and he is responsible as anyone for the disco sound we all know. It's not just the beat, it's the over-the top instrumentation that he did so well. Disco was all about simplicity, really, as is dance music today; at its purest, disco/dance/club music is about throwing a big sound on top of a big beat, and Barry was the undisputed king of that.
The bulk of the disc features slower grooves, highlighted by Barry's soulful and detailed narratives on the many ways he plans to love you. You have to dig his style with titles like “I Love You More Than Anything (In This World Girl);” this song in particular details Barry's deft manipulations to woo his love away from a rival with the refrain “Finders keepers... you snooze her, you lose her.” This is all very fun stuff, very enjoyable. The importance of Barry's contribution to soul music is indisputable, and Can't Get Enough is an excellent slice of his long and successful career.