Thursday, November 3, 2011
MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: DARYL HALL - LAUGHING DOWN CRYING
Now, I'm no loon on this matter, and other than a double CD best of, you won't find anything else by them in the voluminous music collection here. I do think Hall's web TV show Live From Daryl's House is really well-done too, although it's hit-and-miss with the musical guest stars (check it out, YouTubers). So that made me at least want to throw on this new disc from Hall just to see what he'd sound like today.
It turns out he sounds like a somewhat more respectable version of his old, hit-making self. The 80's production values have been replaced by basic and conventional rock set-up. But (and here's the brilliance, I believe), there's still a little hint of the 80's in there, every once in a while. Talking To You has that little shimmer and splash of electric guitar and keyboards, a kind of signature sound you'll recognize immediately. It's not overused, but it's that little reminder of who you are dealing with. Of course, that voice is unmistakable, and still just as glorious. Every so often, he rolls out a classic whoa-oh-whoa, one of the rare people who can sing those wordless fills, and not sound stupid.
Look, if this wasn't Daryl Hall, but some unknown chap, half the critics would be all over this as an example of somebody able to get that great, smooth Philly or Memphis soul sound, and blend in so many Top 40 hooks. And the song Save Me sounds like great Allen Toussaint or Boz Scaggs. Really though, we should be saying it sounds like great Daryl Hall, and no snickering when you say that! Props are due. Oh ya, celebrate Mr. Mustache too, wherever the hell he's gone.