Love and More

by: The O'Jays

Love and More was released as Philadelphia International was experiencing fallout with their distribution deal with CBS. To make matters worse, the label was down to one proven act: the O'Jays. This 1984 album didn't exactly find the guys at a time of climbing the charts -- quite the contrary. The diminishing returns and poor material of When Will I See You Again lowered the expectations for this album. That's the unfortunate part, because most of Love and More is a thoughtful and mature album. Although the ballads here never let the group down, it's the dance tracks that nearly sink the effort. The so-so "Extraordinary Girl," "Everybody's Dance Krazy," and "Love You Direct" amount to semi-danceable, patently '80s misses. These bombs make the gems of Love and More even more surprising. "I've Got to Fall in Love" and the charming and old-timey "I'm the Kind of Man" attain the elegance and poise of their best work. The emotional ballad "I Really Need You Now" is reminiscent of their 1979 classic, "Hurry Up and Come Back." "Let Me Show You How Much" and the last track, "Give My Love to the Ladies," have a half-remembered though not totally derivative style and sound. Despite its flaws, Love and More is worth seeking out. ~ Jason Elias

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