February 07, 2005 12:00 PM

Our Kind of Soul

Since we first heard them croon “Sara Smile” like two street-corner serenaders in 1975, Hall & Oates have successfully crossed the color lines with their brand of blue-eyed soul. So if any pop duo have earned the right to record an album of classic R&B covers, it’s them. Daryl Hall and John Oates find new inspiration in old gems (plus three nicely integrated originals) that are a perfect fit for their patented harmonies and Philly soul-inspired stylings. Appropriately, they pay homage to The Sound of Philadelphia with reverent renditions of the O’Jays’ 1978 hit “Use Ta Be My Girl” and Teddy Pendergrass’s 1980 slow jam “Love TKO” that show their love for the source material. They also shine on well-chosen covers of the Spinners’ “I’ll Be Around” and Gladys Knight and the Pips’ “Neither One of Us,” which brings out lead singer Hall’s most affecting vocal. However, their take on Barry White’s “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love Babe” shows that not every song is meant to be remade.


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