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Adrian Younge Presents: The Delfonics

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Album Review

Adrian Younge conceived "Turn Down the Sound," one of the highlights from Venice Dawn's Something About April, as an imagined RZA-produced '60s Delfonics cut. Shortly after the release of that cinematic, psychedelic soul masterpiece, a fan put Younge in touch with the Delfonics' William Hart. The meeting led to this, the best Delfonics album since 1970. It follows four decades of sporadic new recordings, scads of dodgy re-recordings, and multiple performing versions of the group. Hart is the lone Delfonic here, but he has been a driving creative force and lead voice since its inception. The lyrics for eight of the songs were written by him alone. The remainder was composed with Younge, who arranged and produced and handled the majority of the instrumentation — including but not limited to the bass, drums, electric guitar, electric sitar, vibraphones, glockenspiel, timpani, cello, Fender Rhodes, and his own Mellotron-like Selene — with some support from Venice Dawn. That includes the softly sighing Saudia Mills (the cover star) and the gutsy yet refined Loren Oden (who shares the lead on "To Be Your One") in background vocalist roles. Those who know Something About April won't be taken aback by the halting sound and high quality of this set. While neither as dark nor as wild, Adrian Younge Presents the Delfonics still has some of that spookiness, evoking late-'60s sweet soul — and, on "I Can't Cry No More," mid-'50s doo wop — with a European film composer's knack for soul-inspired suspense and an emphasis on deeply resonant drum breaks ripe for sampling. Considering that Hart is approaching his 70th year, it's remarkable that his falsetto remains so powerful and penetratingly bittersweet. The lyrics are expressed with a degree of relatable passion and dejection that is rare among singers less than half Hart's age. Beside Younge, he has reinvented the Delfonics in a way that can reach across generations. Word to City of Carson bail bondsman Max Cherry.

Customer Reviews

CLASSIC

I grew up listening to Delfonics, this takes me back to the days when they was on Philly Groove Records. William Hart has never lost it, i can listen to this album "Over and Over".

Sounds good

This really should be considered a William Hart solo album since Randy Cain and Major Harris have passed on, and since he and his brother aren't on speaking terms.

Other than that I love the vintage feel of the album, achieved through the usage of original analog equipment. I bet this album sounds BOSS on vinyl. Recommended for hardcore Delfonics fans. 👍🏾

Biography

Formed: 1965 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

The Delfonics were one of the first groups to sing in the sleek, soulful style that became popularized (thanks to producer Thom Bell) as the "Philadelphia sound." A vocal trio made up of brothers William and Wilbert Hart and high school friend Randy Cain, the Delfonics roots go back to doo wop singing at school dances in the early '60s. They were well-known in the Philly area for their supple, airtight harmonic talent, which brought them to the attention of record producers, eventually landing them...
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Adrian Younge Presents: The Delfonics, The Delfonics
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