Darrius Willrich - Can't Get Enough

Darrius Willrich
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On Can't Get Enough, Darrius Willrich does the musical equivalent of burying the lead. In journalistic parlance, burying the lead means that the most important, interesting and/or newsworthy information can be found in the middle or even the end of the story instead of at the beginning - which is where it's supposed to be.

Maybe the Seattle-based Willrich will argue that he's saving the best for last. I'm sure he feels that each of the 14 songs on Can't Get Enough is good, and he'd have a point. There isn't a bad song on the record. However, the tunes that figuratively grab the listener by his or her auditory lapels and yell ‘listen to me' don't come until the last five songs on the record. But boy are those last five songs GOOD!

On Can't Get Enough, Darrius Willrich does the musical equivalent of burying the lead. In journalistic parlance, burying the lead means that the most important, interesting and/or newsworthy information can be found in the middle or even the end of the story instead of at the beginning - which is where it's supposed to be.

Maybe the Seattle-based Willrich will argue that he's saving the best for last. I'm sure he feels that each of the 14 songs on Can't Get Enough is good, and he'd have a point. There isn't a bad song on the record. However, the tunes that figuratively grab the listener by his or her auditory lapels and yell ‘listen to me' don't come until the last five songs on the record. But boy are those last five songs GOOD!

Track 10 is a house party basement blue light slow jam called "All The Way Slow." In this tune, Willrich sings about inviting his lady to spend some time unwinding with him after a long day. I can see myself putting this on after wifey and I put the kids in bed. Willrich follows that song with "Hold on to You." This is actually an alternate version of a song that can be heard earlier on Can't Get Enough.

However, the musical and vocal arrangements are vastly superior on the second version. I mean, I usually listen to these CDs straight through whenever I get them, and I didn't even realize that I was hearing two versions of the same song until my third or fourth listen.  The second version has a richer sound - especially in terms of the instrumental arrangement. Willrich notes that Stevie Wonder is one of his musical influences, and the second version of "Hold on to You" will remind the listener of late 1960s Stevie without sounding derivative. Stevie would be proud.

By the time I got to "Desire," which is Track 12 and the best tune on the album, I'm wondering why in the world am I waiting until the third to last song to hear THIS! This funky number is absolutely infectious. I mean, try to keep your hands on the steering wheel if this joint comes on while you're driving. Try not putting your CD player on repeat at the end of some of the delightfully fast 5:35 seconds in music. 

Willrich showcases his vocal dexterity and his songwriting ability on "Where Are We," another slow jam. Still, don't sleep on the musical arrangement. Like the best slow records, "Where Are We" has a heavy jazz influence that can be heard in the interplay of the instruments. Willrich ends the record with a funky, mid-tempo head nodder called "Get Down To This Loving," which is probably a good way to end the record because you do want the listener's last impression to be lasting.

It would be wrong to say that there is no quality in the first two-thirds of Can't Get Enough. Notable songs include the title track, "Wild in Me," and "Get it On." One thing that distinguishes the last part of Can't Get Enough from what precedes it is the way Willrich varies the tempo. Just when the listener feels he or she has a handle on the flow, Willrich flips the script - moving effortlessly from slow to mid-tempo, from jazzy to funk and from innocence to sensuality. That kind of diversity gets and maintains the listener's attention. Can't Get Enough, is a good album, but at 14 songs, it may try the listener's patience. However, if you like to cherry pick, you'll get full. Recommended.

Howard Dukes

 
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