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Design By Humans
Published On: Tue, Aug 2nd, 2016

The Delfonics: La-La Means I Love You

delfonicsThe Delfonics
La-La Means I Love You
(Arista/Legacy)

It doesn’t get much better than The Delfonics. This remaster of their hit 1968 debut, La-La Means I Love You, opens up its lush landscape from the grooving, falsetto-laden “I’m Sorry,” flowing right into the torchy “Break Your Promise,” to the full, rich guitar/horn/string production of “The Shadow of Your Smile,” (the guitar here is really fantastic, as are the backing vocals). Lead singer William Hart (main songwriter here with producer Thomas Bell) has one of those fantastic R&B voices that can reach heights so softly, while his bandmates lilt wonderfully behind him. This version of “Hurt So Bad” here chunks along at a solid, strong pace, while “Losing You” moves along even faster, with the full use of the guys’ voices in the chorus (and a wailing walking bass). The big-seller hit title track, features guitar, bass, drums, and slicing violin, and Hart using mostly his lower range into the instantly recognizable, descending “la la la’s” at the beginning of the chorus; it’s a truly classic track. This heavy-hitting “The Look of Love” is not the only time these guys tackle Burt Bacharach/Hal David here, but I prefer this version of this song more than what they try with a competent, but middling “Alfie.” The extras here, like “You Got Yours and I’ll Get Mine” (both the 7″ inch version and a version with an intro), the funky, fast vocals of “Loving Him,” and the spacey “Funny Feeling” with its wailing 60’s groove, end this version of the album. With its smooth, perfect vocals and orchestral production, La-La Means I Love You is a classic soul album and one of the most important and influential records of what would be known as the Philadelphia sound. Best you get your hands on it.

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The Delfonics: La-La Means I Love You