Friday, June 10, 2005:

The Darts and the corrector

The Darts -- Peaches
The Darts -- Let's Hang On
The Darts -- False Alarm
The Darts -- Hit and Run
Tunes today from doo-wop revival* retro, occasionally doo-wop band The Darts (these Darts, not those), off their (long out-of-print) 1981 Kat Family Records LP Across America. There are three songs on it that I don't like; they're all covers and they all have the same singer. I don't know which of the eight men this was but the other seven, and the woman, should have taken him aside and let him know--as kindly as they could--that he had the vocal range of Ben Stein. The man can't handle "Reach Out (I'll Be There)" without changing the mode, making the melody much more pedestrian.

Fortunately the other seven tracks on the LP are rock-solid, starting at good and working up from there. Sometimes I think the only thing I know for sure is that the world is a very strange place: this band deserves to be in print, and doo-wop deserves a revival.

"Peaches" is an Ikettes cover about a woman in search of a man, sassy and joyful. "I know I found the boy to marry 'cause my life's been a bowl of cherries, like peaches and cream." Honey, I believe you.

"Let's Hang On" is a cover of a song made famous by Frankie Valli, and I'd never considered it before but suddenly I can see his influence on musicians ranging from the Beach Boys to Maxwell. The track's got muted horns, distorted guitar, and major-keyed interlocking melodies.

"False Alarm" is a love song, a man pining for a woman that doesn't need him. It's all drums and male vocals, one of the men providing the vocal bassline.

"Hit and Run" is another love song, this one about a love that's turned: the man left, the woman is bitter, saying she'll never love again, swearing she'll keep looking, hoping that the same thing happens to her ex.

All of these tracks are a lot of fun, really great work.

* update: Thanks to Billy K from The Fabulous Harmonaires for the correction. And if you like these Darts tracks, give the Harmonaires' site a visit; they have a couple for download.

And a note for firefox/Moz users: The corrector extension lets you do the kinds of things you're used to on other sites, such as opening links in new tabs or using "right click-->save as." It also nixes the "read more" links on albums, simply giving it all to you up front. Very nice.

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