West Coast feel-good soul, that's what this is. If this is not your day, put on some Michael McDonald. He'll make it yours. Just listen to I Keep Forgettin' - a song about love gone and the difficulties dealing with it. It's so uplifting and powerful you realize you will make it through - no matter what.
Michael's voice is smooth like silk yet at the same time its power knocks you off your feet. His trademark keyboard playing makes you want to get up and change the world for the better.
And while I'm at it, just one thing on Louis Johnson, the bass God, on I keep Forgettin'. It's bass/keys Heaven. His pluckin' and stompin' sound is the bomb. Marvelous how he uses it here, pushin' and simultaneously stoppin' the melody (with the keys and the guitar blending in), in a mid tempo song (not "just" on the funk he and his brother made on their 4 terrific albums produced by Quincy Jones)
It had always been clear Michael would make his own way. He completely changed The Doobie Brothers when he joined them. His unique blend of R&B and West Coast Rock fitted the band perfectly. Sadly it lasted only for four albums (with Livin' on the Fault Line and Minute by Minute being the band's best)
If That's What It Takes came out in 1982. Michael wrote and or co-wrote all songs and got some of his longtime friends to work with him: Ted Templeman - longtime Doobie Brothers producer, Steve Gadd and Jeff Porcaro drums, Dean Parks, Robben Ford and Steve Lukather guitars, Greg Phillinganes, Michael Boddicker, Michael Omartian and of course Michael McDonald himself keys, Willie Weeks, Louis Johnson and Mike Porcaro bass, Lenny Castro, Bobby LaKind and Paulinho da Costa percussion, Tom Scott and Edgar Winter sax Get this and let Mike's vocal sunshine in.