Picks and Pans Review: Three Hearts in the Happy Ending Machine

updated 09/15/1986 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/15/1986 01:00AM

Daryl Hall

Hall's first album since his amicable—and perhaps temporary—split with John Oates (and his first solo album since the introspective Sacred Songs in 1979) is a remarkable blend of intelligence and inventiveness. The basic sound is not far removed from the eminently marketable Hall & Oates pop rock, but the overtones, both musical and verbal, seem more complex. Hall is ably assisted by the Eurythmics' David Stewart, who co-produced this album in addition to accompanying on guitar and co-composing. Joni Mitchell, Bob Geldof, Kate St. John of Dream Academy, Robbie McIntosh of the Pretenders and Jamie West-Oram of the Fixx are among the other certified all-stars who materialize in various background roles. Former French Legionnaire Michel de la Porte is also credited with helping shape the LP's unique rhythms: R&B with an exotic Third World twist. Perhaps the most impressive thing about the album is its sense of self-examination, yet Hall never seems self-absorbed. On I Wasn't Born Yesterday, he sings, "So far so extreme/ If I'm jaded, you're naive/ But behind that cynic's steady gaze/ There's a wide-eyed lover drunk for days." For You includes the lines, "Itch for pleasure/ I scratch/ Love's a treasure/ I want to give back/ I wanna give you/ All that I've got/ Attention's essential/ Analysis not." This is pop music of rare accomplishment: It simultaneously keeps the mind and the feet happy. (RCA)

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