Consumer Guide Album
Bill Withers: Naked and Warm [Columbia, 1976]
Here Withers returns to the simple ways of his past, working five or six musicians for the kind of hard groove that doesn't have many parallels in black music these days. And almost succeeds in obscuring the continuing dearth of songs--there are only eight here, and the one that runs 10:46, a paean to L.A., includes a couplet about Disneyland that even I, a convert to Withers's plainspeech, find embarrassing every time out. Recommended single: "Close to Me."