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It’s apparent from his later releases that White’s orchestration ability had improved since his first couple of albums, so he’s no longer doing massive 10-minute exercises in overly repetitive nonsense. But whilst that's a huge improvement, he still has a lot of trouble coming up with memorable melodies.

For the most part, White Gold is a clone of Rhapsody in White - it's another instrumental album, released the same year (along with the soundtrack for Together Brothers). Both albums are weak and rather pointless, and it’s a shame he didn't just concentrate his efforts into a single album that would actually be worth owning. As it is, no one's interested in owning Barry White albums, and it should probably stay that way!

The absolute worst tracks on White Gold are those that bookend it, “Barry’s Love”. This severe lack of taste resulted in a blow to the album rating that wouldn’t have occurred had it appeared somewhere in the middle. It would've been much better if “Satin Soul” had opened proceedings, a rather glorious driving tune that’s catchy and absolutely fun to listen to. I’d wager that even those who think Barry White instrumentals aren't in the least appealing might enjoy indulging in that one! And that's followed by the suave “Always Thinking of You”, that proves White could sound cool if he made the effort.

The album’s mid-section is rather unmemorable though. “Spanish Lei” has a pang of inspiration, but White didn’t spend enough time developing it. And “You Make Me Feel Like This” not only lacks a good theme, it doesn't go anywhere - such a waste of space! Still, I should be grateful that he's not trying to expand 10 minutes worth of musical ideas into 40 minutes again.

White tries channeling Burt Bacharach via a minor gem at the album's end, called “Just Living It Up”. It doesn’t leave an impression after you’re done hearing it, but it could be a very pleasant tune for a happy drive in the country or something.

[Footnote: Don Ignacio's Blog supplements this Review with a bonus track-by-track commentary]

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by Reviewer: Don Ignacio

Posted: Monday 21st Aug 2017 8:17 AM
Recent album review
I already posted an analysis of Nirvana in my long-winded introduction to Bleach, so I'm just going to concentrate on the music here ...

Nevermind sees Nirvana making a great improvement over their debut, for three reasons. Firstly, they drafted-in drummer David Grohl, whose powerful speedy drumming provides the band with a lot of their power and speed.

Secondly, they have a real producer in Butch Vig, who streamlines the band's sound for an accessible impact. And lastly, Cobain goes pop, and writes some really nifty melodies and killer hooks (when he said that the album sounded like Cheap Trick, hipsters sniggered at what they saw as him joking, but Nirvana really do sound like "He's a Whore"-era Trick here).

Nirvana's other obvious influences this time round are Squirrel Bait (that I've already reviewed), The Replacements, Husker Du, and The Pixies, the last of whom Cobain unabashedly admitted to ripping off - "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was apparently a tribute.

After that stunning opener, the songs start to sound formulaic - quiet verse, buildup, raging chorus, fade back to quiet verse, repeat. The best songs are the ones that don't follow that structure, those being "Breed", "Territorial Pissings", and "On a Plain" - the last one only kind of. However, get past the samey structures, and there's quite a bit to enjoy, like the manic-depressive "Lithium", and the one in which Coabin insults his fans and likes to shoot his gun.

Cobain's got a lot to answer for really, given the bunch of clueless grunge clones he inspired, faking angst and misery and ruining the airwaves. But I forgive him - after all, blaming Cobain for Fionna Apple is like blaming Neil Young for America.

I'm probably over-rating Nevermind - I remember when it came out I didn't play it a whole lot - but hey, historical/cultural importance is relevent, and it just wouldn't feel right giving less than five stars to a album of this kind. Besides, it kicks ass on the radio.

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by Reviewer: Creative Noise

Posted: Monday 21st Aug 2017 8:42 AM
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