Picks and Pans Review: Talking With...
updated 09/27/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 09/27/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT
A PHILLY STATE OF MIND
DARYL HALL SAYS THAT THE IDEA FOR making an album of Philadelphia soul music originated, oddly enough, in merry old London, England, where the singer-keyboardist resides part-time (he also has a home in New York City). "I was over there clearing my brain after the final Hall and Oates tour last year, and I kept hearing a lot of music that sounded like modern versions of Philly soul," says Hall, 43. "Seeing how much respect the English have for American soul music made me think about my roots—and I just decided to go for it."
So what is Philadelphia soul? "I call it secular gospel music," says Hall. "It's very keyboard-and harmony-oriented, and a lot of that comes right from the church. There are certain kinds of melodies and chords that you find in Philly music that you just don't find anywhere else. It has a mood all its own." In fact, says Hall, that's how the song "I'm in a Philly Mood" got written. He and coproducers Jeff Smith and Peter Lord were in the studio when "I started playing some chords, and Peter said, 'Hey, man, you sound like you're in a real Philly mood.' The whole song took shape from there."
After years of working as part of a team, "I really feel this is a crossroads for me—a new career almost," notes Hall, who lives with sometime collaborator Sara Allen. "I wanted to establish my own personality once and for all, and I thought the best way to do that was to really go back and pull out what I am for everyone to see. 'Cause when you boil it all down, that's what I am, man—I am a Philadelphia soul singer."