Tony Joe White


Tony Joe White - Eyes/Dangerous

2003 | Raven (australia) 

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All Music Guide Review

Raven released Tony Joe White's 1976 album Eyes and his 1983 record Dangerous as a two-fer early in 2003 (on the front and back cover, it's rather ingeniously called Dangerous Eyes, but the spine lists it as a straight two-fer, complete with Eyes arriving first in proper chronological order). Eyes was released on 20th Century and has never appeared on CD prior to this; Dangerous was released on CD in the U.S. in 2001. Even though seven years separate these two records and even though his 1980 release for Casablanca, Real Thang, is skipped, the pairing still makes some sense, since both records find White stretching out from his trademark sound and delving headfirst into disco. Eyes, in particular, is an anomaly, a largely disco album that sounds closer to Boz Scaggs than Tony Joe White, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, since White's voice suits the stylish groove well and it's appealing on the surface. Eyes is deliberately a love album -- the word appears in half of the song titles -- and if that belabors his point a little much by not offering much subtlety, it does at least deliver a swank seduction sound that is thoroughly late '70s, sounding more tied to its time than White's music usually does. That might be why many White fans don't dig this album -- it's such a smooth affair that when he returns to the swamp, as on "Texas Woman," it's disarming -- but it's enjoyable for what it is. Dangerous is in the same vein, but it breathes a little more, offering a stronger dose of the swamp pop that made his name. That and disco make for strange bedfellows -- including song titles like "Hold On to Your Heiney" -- and the album sometimes seems unsure of its identity, but it's usually enjoyable, even it doesn't offer many distinctive songs. So, in total, Eyes and Dangerous are detours in White's career, which makes them a perfect pairing for a two-fer. It might not be something that the die-hard fans of the early albums love, but completists will be glad that both of these records are on disc, and listeners who prefer soulful, stylish disco-rock to funky, gritty swamp rock might find that they like this more than the music he's traditionally associated with. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Credits of Eyes/Dangerous

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