Tuesday, November 23, 2021

"The Way You Love Me" by Karyn White

Top 10 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
Song#:  3683
Date:  10/15/1988
Debut:  83
Peak:  7
Weeks:  25
Genre:  R&B, Dance-Pop

Pop Bits:  With her father a musician and her mother a church choir director, it was inevitable that White would pick up on their talents. She started singing in the church choir and then later branched out from there doing talent shows, pageants, and even performing with a local band. In 1984, she secured a backing vocal gig on R&B singer O'Bryan's tour ("The Gigolo," #5 R&B/#57 Pop, 1982). In 1986, she got a significant break when she was hired on to do vocals on three tracks for contemporary jazz artist Jeff Lorber's Private Passion. One of those songs, "Facts of Love," was released as a single and it got to #9 Dance/#17 R&B/#27 Pop. Lorber's label Warner Bros. then decided to give White a shot at a solo career and signed her on. For her self-titled debut LP, White was teamed up with the songwriting/production team of L.A. Reid and Babyface. They would write and produce six tracks for the album including this first single, which was also co-written by Daryl Simmons. The song became a hit at R&B reaching #1. As the tune made its way to the top of that chart, it crossed over to Dance and Pop. Eventually it would peak at #5 Dance while cracking the Pop Top 10. It would also be a minor entry at AC getting to #38. The tune's success on the various charts helped the single sell well and eventually it would go gold. The song would also earn White a Grammy nod for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female. It was quite the start for the newly minted solo star.

ReduxReview:  In some ways, L.A. Reid and Babyface took their first steps with Pebbles ("Girlfriend," #1 R&B/#5 Pop) and then took a significant leap forward with Bobby Brown and Karyn White. The pair were quickly perfecting their new jack/dance-pop formula and it paid off well with this first single from White. Not only was it impeccably produced, it was a solid song to boot. It was groovy and catchy with White providing a nice vocal. In addition to the chorus, there were other memorable hooks like the "oh-oh, oh-oh" lines and the halting synth stabs. It probably should have topped the Pop chart, but a Top 10 showing was certainly a win.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  After White provided vocals for a few of Jeff Lorber's tracks, he returned the favor when she got to do her own album. Lorber would co-produce two tracks for White's debut album. One track he co-produced with Ian Prince, the other with White herself. The track she co-produced, "Tell Me Tomorrow," White also co-wrote with Evan Rogers and Arnie Roman. White also got a little bit of an assist from her former boss O'Bryan. He would show up to do some backing vocals for the LP.


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