Title: “Daryl Hall & John Oates”
Artist: Daryl Hall & John Oates
Release date: 1975
Favorite track: “Sara Smile”
Simply put, Daryl Hall & John Oates charm me.
These two created albums packed with catchy, uplifting songwriting. I have literally nothing negative to say.
I can remember absolutely hating when my father played music like this for me as a child. So naturally I love it now.
I say it every time, so I might as well say it again. I love songs with names in them. I think it’s probably because they have a personal touch, as if the story behind the lyrics is real. Sometimes it is.
This album has two back to back, “Camellia” and “Sara Smile.” Got me twice in a row.
I normally hate when men tell me to smile, but when Daryl Hall sings it to me, it’s totally OK. In this scenario, I’m Sara. Back then, it was Hall’s girlfriend.
“Sara Smile” has to be one of my favorite songs of theirs because it has a lot of smooth soul.
I hate listing a thousand genres next to a band, but Daryl Hall & John Oates do cross genres. I hear so much R&B, but it’s more natural to call them pop-rock. So, make of that what you will.
I’m also not traditionally a fan of male vocals; Hall is an exception.
“Alone Too Long” makes this album three for three on songs that stick in your head. Again, simply good songwriting from this truly dynamic duo.
“Out of Me, Out of You” starts on a high note, literally. Hall’s vocals start high and go deeper as the song continues. It’s different and cool. To add to their genre diversity, the song funnels into a funky 30-second segment.
“Nothing at All” is a quintessential mid-paced Daryl Hall & John Oates song, but it isn’t necessarily my favorite.
“Gino (The Manager)” is a bit weird. But I give every album one strange song. It’s practically a requirement.
“(You Know) It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” returns to the smooth R&B.
I love the music to “Ennui on the Mountain.” It’s a peppy nod to the 1950s, a sound that would naturally complement a doo wop song.
“Grounds for Separation” has a punchy sound with more robotic vocals. The music at the 2-minute-20-second mark is my favorite on the whole album. It manages to be darkly cheery and passionate. For just a second, it feels like a Radiohead track.
I could just live in those couple minutes of music. I would kill to hear that live.
“Soldering” is so off the wall. Am I listening to Men at Work, Paul McCartney and the Wings or Hall & Oates? Either way is fine.
I like the lyrics to “What’s Important to Me.” Hall & Oates’ subject matter is so simple, but relatable and interesting. I really believe it’s that simplicity that signifies high-quality songwriting. Hey, just ask Taylor Swift — that girl has a gift.
I feel comfortable labeling “Ice” as the most soft rock song on the album.
This is an interesting album cover because it’s way more glam rock than Hall & Oates’ style of music — or any of their other album covers for that matter. It’s fun, though. I like that it’s shiny.