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Friday, March 20, 2015

Marvin Gaye -- I Want You

 photo Marvin-gaye-i-want-you_zpsn0ioeun2.jpg

Let's get the bad out of the way first: the moaning. Three songs on Marvin Gaye's I Want You feature a woman moaning ecstatically. While throwing moaning sounds into "You Sure Love to Ball," the penultimate track on Gaye's previous album, Let's Get It On, worked, the three attempts to better songs with it on I Want You fail. They distract, are extraneous, redundant, pornographic without being sexy, and worst of all, they belie the idea that I Want You doesn't already inhabit a sensual enough mood without them. They cheapen something truly special.
There, that is I Want You's only flaw, dropping it from a 10/10 to a 9/10. Moaning. Now let's get on with the rest of it.
Without the moaning, I believe that I Want You would be considered one of Marvin's masterpieces. The album creates a lush, relaxing mood from the onset, with deeper emotional tones than some of Marvin's previous work. "I want you," he sings in the title track, "But I want you to want me, too." Desire isn't enough. It has to be reciprocated. Marvin doesn't just want sex. He wants connection.
The rest of the album flows accordingly: a rhythmic bed, lush blankets of orchestration, Marvin's voice floating above. The whole thing feels like a 40-minute dream, replete with repeating motifs. I Want You is Marvin's most impressionistic album, fully deserving the impressionistic artwork that accompanies it. And still, it gets down.
This is an album made by a master at his peak, marred only by a silly production decision. This is an album that could only have been created by Marvin Pentz Gaye, Jr.. Despite its lesser-known status in Gaye's canon, I Want You is an album on which to stake a legacy.

1976 Tamla
1. I Want You (Vocal) 4:35
2. Come Live with Me Angel 6:28
3. After the Dance (Instrumental) 4:21
4. Feel All My Love Inside 3:23
5. I Wanna Be Where You Are 1:17
6. I Want You (Intro Jam) 0:20
7. All the Way Round 3:50
8. Since I Had You 4:05
9. Soon I'll Be Loving You Again 3:14
10. I Want You (Jam) 1:41
11. After the Dance (Vocal) 4:40

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