Stone Gon'

Not Rated

Even if Barry White is imitation Isaac Hayes (and who would have thought anyone could match Ike pretension for pretension?) in this case, I prefer Brand X. White's productions are too excessive to be called "songs." They are dreamy, shimmering symphonies whipped up to a light chop for the dance crowd. Perhaps because the five cuts (the shortest, 5:05) always seem on the verge of choking on their violin tracks or being talked to death, their ultimate survival is unexpectedly exhilarating. "Never Never Gonna Give Ya Up" and "Honey Please, Can't Ya See" work best, but White keeps things well controlled throughout — musically, at least. Now if he'd only stop talking....