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Picks and Pans Review: Happy Together

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The Nylons

The neo-doo-wop sound of this vocal quartet, which usually performs with only an occasional drum machine backup, can be quite arresting. Formed in 1979, the group includes three Canadian actors—Marc Connors, Paul Cooper and Claude Morrison—and a former member of the Platters, Arnold Robinson, who did some doo-wopping back when it was more widely fashionable. There have been plenty of parodies of that romantic wing of black popular music—and such recent tributes as Huey Lewis’ Naturally—but this is more in the nature of an updating. While the group does such old hits as Steam’s Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye and Sam Cooke’s Chain Gang, and does them justice, its members also write their own material, such as Morrison’s Grown Man Cry or Cooper’s It’s What They Call Magic. The mix of nostalgia and modernity makes for an aural change of pace that could soothe the sorely tried ears of rock ‘n’ roll listeners without putting anyone to sleep. (Attic)