That's The Way Of The World

Not Rated

Lousy production works to this LP's detriment — Maurice White has surprisingly chosen to have the entire album sound "hot." It easily befits such uptempo numbers as "Happy Feelin'" and the popular single "Shining Star," helping them glow with an incendiary charge that once moved record producer Sandy Pearlman to term EW&F "the closest thing to a black heavy-metal band." But numbers like "Reasons." "All about Love" and the title cut — ballads cut from the Four Tops/Tavares mold — are allowed no room to develop breadth as subtle, tender passages are both over-volumed and forced to compete with what should by rights be background instrumentation. Great tunes (particularly the dynamic "Africano") and great musicianship are not what this one lacks — hopefully the next time out White will be able to tone things down accordingly in the places where a little under-statement is appropriate.

x