The Delfonics were once the kings of Philadelphia soul, releasing a string of hit singles from 1967 to 1975, including “La-La (Means I Love You)” and “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time).”
Their legacy lives on thanks to Los Angeles producer Adrian Younge. After composing the soundtrack to the blaxploitation flick Black Dynamite (2009), Younge became inspired by the group and agreed to collaborate with lead singer William Hart to create an updated sound for The Delfonics.
The Younge/Hart collaboration sets out to reinvent The Delfonics for a new generation, rawer and wiser, all while keeping the group’s essence alive. Fundamental musical elements of the group are still present such as the electric sitar, French horn and string arrangement, in addition to Hart’s distinct falsetto — all within a contemporary hip hop template, which only a unique talent like Adrian Younge could invoke.
Hopefully the success of this album will encourage more cross-generational collaborative works like this one in the future.
Trail Track: “Stop and Look (And You Have Found Love)”
– Paul Traunero
If you thought that Dido was one of those vague memories you could leave behind in 2003 along with your flared sparkly jeans, you were wrong. Dido described her comeback album Girl Who Got Away as being a “big, fun, electronic extravaganza.” Unfortunately, it was none of those things.
For what it’s worth, Dido is still Dido. Listening to the album, I found myself wondering whether it was indeed new. I also somehow managed to get through it in its entirety without realizing the track had changed at all.
“Love to Blame” almost fulfilled the “fun” prophecy, with as upbeat of a tempo as one could hope for from the singer. Judging by the lyrics, I suspect this was Dido’s attempt at being sassy.
“Go Dreaming” also featured the faintest hint of danceability but, stylistically leaning towards her patented woeful ballad, it didn’t quite make it there.
Trial Track: They’re all identical; pick your poison
– Sara Baron-Goodman
New York City’s finest have just released their fifth album. Although they remain true to their rough, don’t-give-a-f@&# sound, the album showcases their musical evolution. That being said, old fans who weren’t too pleased with the Strokes’ 2011 effort Angles will be happy to know that their band is back.
“50/50” sounds like it could have been included on their debut album Is This It. With a fast chorus, scratchy Julian Casablancas vocals and an impressive use of both guitars, it is easily the best song on the album.
The band also experiments with ‘80s-sounding synth-heavy beats, adding an interesting dimension. Casablancas does a nice job of switching back and forth with his falsetto without it being jarring or taking away from the song.
Although the album features an interesting variation in style, it still manages to deliver the usual Strokes’ punch.
Trial Track: “All the Time”