Picks and Pans Review: Soul Alone
updated 09/27/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 09/27/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT
If anyone should know the intricacies of the lushly styled, early 1970s rhythm and blues music known as Philly soul, it is native son (from suburban Pottstown, Pa.) Daryl Hall. From the mid-'70s to the mid-'80s, Hall and partner John Oates took the hallmarks of the genre—infectious choruses and unshakable grooves—and melded them with their own pop-rock hooks to produce an impressive string of hits including "Rich Girl," "Kiss on My List" and "Private Eyes."
Soul Alone, Hall's first solo outing since the duo's amicable decision to separate (at least temporarily) last year, is a winning love letter to his roots. From the album's lead track, "Power of Seduction"—which kicks in with a driving wah-wah guitar-plus-string-section arrangement that recalls the heyday of the pre-disco Delfonics—to the lush, Marvin Gaye-like closer, "Written in Stone," Hall's concept that homage is where the heart is works consistently well.
The sly cruising song "Send Me," the pleading "Help Me Find a Way to Your Heart" and the frisky "Love Revelation" are three of the standout tracks on this album, but it's the overall stylistic flow that makes Soul Alone such an attractive package. The album's swirling centerpiece says it best: "Let's make it groove, taking it nice and smooth—I'm in a Philly mood." (Epic)