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Spins: Hall & Oates • Our Kind of Soul

| June 11, 2020 | 0 Comments

Daryl Hall & John Oates’

Our Kind of Soul

(Friday Music)

Making its vinyl debut, this reissue of 2004’s Our Kind of Soul takes a deep dive into the roots of Daryl Hall & John Oates’ chart-topping blue-eyed soul. The duo’s own ebullient “Let Love Take Control” fits well alongside an urgent performance of the Four Tops’ “Standing in the Shadows of Love.” The album’s monophonic mix is a throwback to the days of 7” Motown singles and AM radio gold. The virtual jukebox selections make for a perfect party mix. Late great bassist T-Bone Wolk has a strong presence throughout the set. He propels a thrilling version of the Spinners’ “I’ll Be There” as Hall’s vocal takes flight, and drives the classic Philadelphia soul of Gamble & Huff’s “Used to Be My Girl.” Hall croons blissfully during his original song “Soul Violins.”

He finds a natural fit with Dan Hartman’s #6 1984 single “I Can Dream About You,” recorded 20 years after Hartman initially offered the song to the duo, albeit with modified lyrics that amplify the song’s sweet sense of melancholy. Oates’ gliding background vocals complete the song’s conversion to the duo’s familiar sound and Oates’ layered harmonies are sublime during Marvin Gaye’s hot-blooded “After the Dance.” A string solo spices Hall’s pleading “Don’t Turn Your Back on Me,” a song reflecting the tone of 2003’s Do It for Love album. Aretha Franklin’s “Rock Steady” is infused with Norman Whitfield-styled funk a la the Temptations’ “I Can’t Get Next to You,” and is further heightened by Charlie DeChant’s percolating saxophone. Oates provides a biting and soulful lead vocal during the Dramatics’ slinky “What You See is What You Get.” Barry White’s “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love” and Al Green’s supple “I’m Still in Love with You” are additional bright spots. Hall and Oates close the album with a proper duet, joining voices sweetly on the Five Stairsteps’ Chicago soul classic, “Ooh Child.”

– Jeff Elbel

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