If you've lived through the 1980s or have heard of the 1980s, chances are very good you've also heard of Daryl Hall. The singer might be turning 65 this week, but his name is still prominent in the music world.
After over a decade of not making an album, Hall has just released his fifth solo, Laughing Down Crying.
Just because he hasn't recorded for such a long time does not mean Hall hasn't been around. In fact, just the opposite is true. The man has reinvented himself by having a free web show, Live From Daryl's House, which has just been syndicated for television. But more importantly, he has introduced himself to music lovers who are young enough to be his grandchildren by singing with contemporary artists.
Laughing Down Crying (LDC) is not what fans first thought it would be. Rumors were abound that he would have special guest singers, but instead the album is just Daryl Hall doing what he does bestÂ—singing. Hall wrote all the music and lyrics, except for two of the ten tracks where others wrote with him.
Daryl is a story-teller, and practically every song he's written is about his life and relationships, and LDC is no different. During the course of the past two years, he's seen his career come back just a strong as ever, lost his best friend, Tom "T-Bone" Wolk, to a heart attack, got married, and became a step father to two teens. You hear about all this in LDC. Just close your eyes and listen to Daryl tell you.
The last track, Problem with You, is dedicated to T-Bone since it was the very last song T-Bone played, and you hear him talking at the end of the song.
Laughing Down Crying is pure HallÂ—some 80s sounding songs, some great soul songs, and of course, a love song or two.
Some people might not like the album because Daryl Hall isn't really giving his fans anything different, but the question is, do his fans really want something different? Maybe, but this fan is very happy with the album. The only question is just why Hall's step daughter is singing back up. A little nepotism, probably.
The songs are really pretty good, and Daryl Hall's voice is amazingly beautiful and strong for a person who is turning an age where most singers' voices start to go astray.
Laughing Down Crying is well worth the money, and listening to Hall belt out the songs is the best thing that has happened in a while.
Here's a video of Daryl singing the title track on Jimmy Kimmel.