Monday, May 19, 2008

Reconsidering Hall and Oates

The LA Times has a nice piece about an alleged Hall & Oates revival, or what is really the slowly emerging critical acceptance of their work. I realized that I actually liked H&O after watching a VH1 Behind the Music about them several years ago. Their songs hold up far better than contemporaries like Phil Collins or Toto. And of course the historical revisionism of Yacht Rock has made me think about them in a new way.

Check out this arty non-performance of "She's Gone."

1 comment:

Ron said...

Goodness yes, that IS an arty non-performance. I had never seen it till now. (Amazing how much Hall looks and pouts like Ziggy Stardust in that video, btw.) Someone could (and surely already has) put together a compilation of arty non-performances from that era--there's an even more minimal music video by the Replacements, for starters, and I seem to remember hearing about some act that simply played chess on Top of the Pops in lieu of lipsynching their latest hit. And on and on.

I had no idea there was an H&O revival going on, although I've been thinking lately about how much I still like their early "blue eyed soul" era (and how much I still dislike later crap like "Maneater"). I've been saying for years that soft rock is the last taboo amongst musical hipsters, but it looks like it's at last receiving its inevitable part ironic/part sincere embrace. Me, I pretty much love it.

Sorry to see the article give such scant attention to Hall's experimental side--the collaborations with Fripp were truly wild, and I betcha that, had there been a Pitchfork when his solo album come out, they would have creamed in their jeans over it.