Having gone through my teenage years in the '80s, I am no stranger to the music of Darryl Hall and John Oates. In many ways, they are a very large part of the soundtrack to many of my fondest memories of family and friends.So, when the opportunity presented itself for me to give their new holiday record, entitled Home for Christmas, a review, I eagerly volunteered. Of course, while doing so, I did not, as many filthy allegations may contend, hum the chorus to “Maneater” over and over again.Wasn’t me.Here then, are my thoughts on the songs from Home for Christmas:“Overture / The First Noel” - Strings start this album off on the right foot; a lazy yet beautiful give and take that eventually blends into a lovely harmony that is the beginnings of the well known song “The First Noel.” From behind these opening strings, you eventually hear the more typical instruments, which one expects on a Hall and Oates album, stretch out and find their place in the melody.That’s when Hall’s voice floats out of the ether and into the mix. Accompanying his voice is a lovely chorus of voices chanting “Noel” with a decidedly gospel flair. This is the point where the song truly begins. This soulful gospel song is the perfect opening to the album.“It Came Upon A Midnight Clear” - An acoustic guitar and Hall’s voice start this song off, and for nearly a minute, they seem to be all the song could ever need. Then, the soft strings and other instruments begin to flow in.It’s such a simple song, and yet its purity makes it so achingly lovely.“No Child Should Every Cry On Christmas” - Once again strings set off a song, only to roll away at the kick of the drum and guitar licks. It’s an effective opening, and sets off a song that is more than amply served by the lead vocals of Oates. As this is an original composition of his, that seems only fitting.A very, very solid song.
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