“Oooooh and I like it.” What a track from the DeBarges, the second single from their All This Love album (second album off their discography), is a genuine classic. Just some easy swinging groove and the trio vocal work of El, Randy, and Bunny DeBarge. Riding Randy’s and El’s latin soul rhythm backing, El delivers sweet compliments in his now fully formed trademark falsetto. Bunny, provides the bulk of the background vocals and helped pen the truly memorable bridge that kicks in near the end of the song. Its no wonder this song became a massive hit in the charts, and is an oft sampled track. There are simply so many great parts to the song.
The songs creation, which is hinted at slightly in the feel of the song, is quite bittersweet. The DeBarge family’s first album was very poorly received. This song was their make it or break it time. Bobby, the older brother of El, and much of the family for years suffered troubles with drug abuse, and in some cases sexual abuse from their father. For them, when they would come together as a group, finding solace in the music was the only way to escape some truly troubling issues. That’s why you hear more stridency in this song, compared to the other great slow jam found in the first album “Queen of My Heart”. They had to man up, on specific occasions to avoid true hardship.
“I Like It” was an attempt to replicate Bobby’s Switch success. Bobby was always the most talented, and most troubled out of all the siblings. He was the person who inspired El to sing falsetto and incubated in him the love of Marvin Gaye’s music. In its own way this track, as El reaches higher and higher to emulate Bobby is very fraternal, he never quite reaches Bobby’s peak pitch on purpose. However, just keeping that influence in heart did manage to get them their first true hit. It wouldn’t be until tomorrow’s track that the DeBarge’s true, full sentiment and brilliance would shine through.