Betty Wright – 1972 – I Love the Way You Love
A very nice mix of Southern soul with a splash of smooth soul and funk here from Miami soul singer, Betty Wright. The stupendous soul belter, “Clean Up Woman” is a very familiar song due to the heavy sampling of the opening riff in hip hop but that is far from the sole highlight.
Betty Wright wears numerous hats from the eager young woman ready to step out from under her mama’s protective wing as heard on the charming “I Found That Guy” to a woman tired of her man’s games on the funky follower, “All Your Kissin’ Sho’ Don’t Make True Lovin‘”. Not possessing the most dynamic voice, still the attitude wins out here making this a good transitional piece from the 60s into the 70s soul.
A1 I Love the Way You Love 3:20
A2 I’ll Love You Forever Heart and Soul 3:40
A3 I Found That Guy 3:35
A4 All Your Kissin’ Sho’ Don’t Make True Lovin’ 2:35
A5 If You Love Me Like You Say You Love Me 3:10
A6 Clean Up Woman 2:40
B1 I’m Gettin’ Tired Baby 2:40
B2 Pure Love 2:20
B3 Ain’t No Sunshine 3:20
B4 Don’t Let It End This Way 2:50
B5 Let’s Not Rush Down the Road of Love 2:54
Betty Wright’s second album, and a fine one it is…
“I Love the Way You Love” is a wonderfully constructed Soul/Blues hybrid somewhat similar to Albert King’s “I’ll Play the Blues for You“, right down to the very King-esque, squeezed-out guitar solo.
A more smooth sound is generated on the mid-tempo, blissful ballad “I’ll Love You Forever Heart and Soul“, showing Betty at her most tender and sweet. Drenched in strings, yet still riding a solid groove, with persistent female backings on the song’s main hook. Equally lavish and deeply romantic is the slow grinding old-school soul work-out “I Found That Guy“.
Betty takes the listener to funk school on “All Your Kissin’…” A riveting, blasting slab of throbbing funk, featuring a spot-on, immediately gripping guitar pattern, submerged in wah wah noise. It gets particularly hot when the groove goes into doubletime in mid-song.
There’s a sweaty, old-time country church vibe goin’ on the tambourine-heavy “If You Love Me…“, perfectly suited to Betty’s nitty gritty vocalizing. Sweetened with strings, but still having a solid, rock hard rhythmic bottom.
“Clean Up Woman” is the stand-out, naturally… a bouncing, slow-cruisin’ funk vamp that gave Betty her first No. 1 R&B hit. The gutbucket groove – check out Little Beaver’s tasty guitar chops here – is kept naked as a baby, with a hint of brass here and there. Just stupendously effective, simple, hard driving funk.
Betty gets back in the dark, bluesy bag that opened this LP with the haunting “I’m Gettin’ Tired“, a minor-keyed gem featuring some very heavy bass lines and busy, busy drumming.
“Pure Love” preceded the implicit sexiness of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” by three years. This is smokingly intense, tempting, lustful soul that combines the sweet with the ‘nasty’. One of those late night type jammies for you and your loved one, baby…
Miss Wright then delivers a truly goosebump inducing spin on Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine“, making it totally her own. Also features an inspired, unorthodox arrangement, bringing together both country soul testifyin’ and breezy soul jazz mellowness. She sounds just as despondent and hurt on the mid-tempo ballad “Don’t Let It End This Way“, a gutwrenching lament again featuring a modest but very effective string arrangement.
Concluding the album on a same note with “Let’s Not Rush Down the Road of Love“, which has some strings on there that are a bit too syruppy for my taste, ‘I Love the Way You Love‘ basically is a stunning collection of luscious ballads, killer funk and bluesy, jazzy contemplations.