Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
For the 7,000 who come, it was like being given the world's largest and gooiest valentine. Barry White, all 300 pounds of him, brought his Love Unlimited Orchestra to Constitution Hall for two shows Monday, and the result, to no one's surprise, was an evening of syrupy bombast.
Pop music couldn't exist without sentiment, but White, the Maestro of muzak, clearly believes in taking things to extremes. He does everything in a big way; as his 50-piece orchestra washes listeners in a sea of strings, White himself croons and moans every imaginable form of tender nonsense to an audience that has arrived expecting to be caressed.
Set to a disco beat, this would be a powerful combination, but for one thing: White himself. The man looks like a George Grosz caricature of a sex symbol and the interminable heavy breathing he tries to pass off as singing makes him seem all the more ridiculous. It's overkill, plain and simple.
The same thing might be said of the songs White writes. The titles say all there is to say: "Can't Get Enough of Your Love," "I'm Going to Love You Just A Little Bit More, Baby," "I'm Qualified to Satisfy You.""
But that is exactly the sort of thing Monday's lovey-dovey crowd came for.