Tom Brock ‘I Love You More And More’ CD (Soul Brother) 4/5

Barry White the producer is sometimes overlooked and underplayed in relation to his singer-songwriting talents. However, he did fantastic production duties for Gloria Scott and Love Unlimited, one of whose members was his wife. What is less known is that he did produce another male singer, Tom Brock, and London-based label/specialist music shop Soul Brother have unearthed a lesser-known gem in this album that dates from 1974 when White was at the peak of his creative forces. Tom Brock is no Barry White soundalike, though, and is much closer in vocal approach to Leon Ware, or even Marvin Gaye, particularly from the ‘I Want You’ era and this album is a precursor to that 1976 classic. What is surprising is that at a time when Barry White could have done no wrong, this album should have largely escaped the attention of the music press and not enjoyed any significant chart success. This is a great pity for there are some excellent songs on offer, some of which were co-written between Brock and White while others have the immediate White classy signature sound attached to them. One song especially, the mid-tempo ‘There’s Nothing In This World’, has become more famous as a result of being sampled by Jay Z on ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ while the uptempo ‘Naked as the day I was born’ is arguably the best cut of all. Brock’s high-pitched falsetto vocals at various times remind one of Marvin during his ‘What’s Going’ On’ album and that is recommendation enough. A fascinating one-off album that is nicely balanced with some fine balladry and one wonders whatever happened to Tom Brock?

Tim Stenhouse