Thursday, January 08, 2009

Album of the Day #127: ABANDONED LUNCHEONETTE - Daryl Hall & John Oates

Title: Abandoned Luncheonette
Artist: Daryl Hall & John Oates
Label: Atlantic
Year: 1973
Songs: When The Morning Comes*/Had I Known You Better Then**/Las Vegas Turnaround (the stewardess song)**/She's Gone***/I'm Just A Kid (Don't Make Me Feel Like A Man)**/Abandoned Luncheonette*/Lady Rain***/Laughing Boy*/Everytime I Look At You*
Written by: *Daryl Hall, **John Oates and ***Daryl Hall & John Oates
Produced by: Arif Mardin
Thoughts: I can't say a bad thing about this album. I got it because I had read some great reviews about it and I have to admit that I do like most of Hall & Oates' hits. "She's Gone" has always been one of my favorite songs played on the radio, so that was just one more incentive to get this album. The songs around it, though, are so amazing and effortless that it makes you wonder how people failed to discover the duo before their eighties monster-hits.
The one thing that might be missing on the album is that on their own songs, the writer is more upfront and the other is more of a background singer. For example, on the powerful opening, Daryl's "When The Morning Comes", Daryl is much more at the front, with John coming in very sparingly. On "She's Gone", though, a song co-written by the two, their unique harmony is powerful and going on all cylinders. I actually like John's songs three solo songs more than Daryl's four. John's songs sit on the first side. "Had I Known You Better Then" is such a great ballad and "I'm Just A Kid" is a quiet, understated acoustic track that works perfectly. "Las Vegas Turnaround" has a cool story and fantastic production.
Daryl's songs feel as if they try to be lifting epics and some work (particularly the opening "When The Morning Comes"), but some try a little too hard (the title track, which is essentially a medley). "Everytime I Look At You" is the long, rock jam that ends the album on a good note...It is particularly enjoyable. The album as a whole is very good, making me really want to get more of their 1970's output.

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