Now while I’d be the first to vote self-expression above commerciality every time, it seems to me that Marvin is becoming too wrapped up in his own affairs. Although getting down, getting mellow, and getting it on are paramount considerations in the privacy of my own home, I don’t particularly want to be party to someone else’s night life. Not on record anyway. I Want You is almost a voyeur’s delight. Like peeking through the windows of the Gaye residence in the wee wee hours. Perhaps that’s your kick, but personally I find it a mite frustrating.
The more content he gets the less he has to say for himself. Furthermore, he is by his own admission a lazy man.
-Cliff White, NME, May 8, 1976
Gaye seems determined to take over as soul’s master philosopher in the bedroom, a position that requires little but an affectation of constant, rather jaded horniness.
-Vince Aletti, Rolling Stone Magazine