Elements of Love: Ballads

by: Earth, Wind & Fire

The softer side of Maurice White's creation, Earth, Wind & Fire, is displayed on Elements of Love: Ballads, a sparkling, 14-song compilation of ballads. Though EW&F's biggest hits were fast numbers, they had a gift for slow heart-tuggers. The leads are divided among Maurice White and Philip Bailey, with Bailey's being the cream. His forceful, shimmering, pause-stopping falsetto glows on "Devotion," "Reasons," and "Keep Your Head to the Sky." Their most successful ballad, chart-wise, "After the Love Is Gone," is poignant, majestic, and sounds years ahead of its time. White had a slick Chicago sound that was balanced by deep soul roots (he was raised in Memphis, TN), and "Can't Hide Love" is a good example of the unique combination. As usual, Latin beats and rhythms find their way onto EW&F's recordings, and "Ponta de Areia" and "Love's Holiday" are two sweet examples. ~ Andrew Hamilton

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