It was 1972 or so when I remember the song took the world by storm. I was ten years old and the song was ubiquitous. People with plaintiff expressions would open their windows and the song would be blaring from their radios. Everyone was crying. It was as if O'Sullivan had sprayed the world with a drug that induced a torrent of tears.
He became rich off that song. Everyone I know loves the song, but feels guilty for liking it. To turn cathartic self-pity into an all-consuming religion that no one wants to fess up to. What a genius.
Mayer Hawthorne grew up in Detroit. According to his MySpace bio, he loved the soul sounds of his youth. He captures them niceon his album A Strange Arrangement. I'm not just hearing the Detroit sound; I'm hearing the famous Philadelphia sound. I'm hearing Smokey Robinson, Curtis Mayfield, and other greats. Nice job, Mr. Hawthorne.
As I post this, his album is ranked number 394 on Amazon, not bad at all. As some reviewers have correctly stated, Hawthorne isn't trying to be funny or ironic with his treatment of retro soul. He loves soul and treats the music with passion and earnestness with good effect.
I first heard one of the album's tracks on KJAZZ 88.1 a few nights ago and scribbled the song title in the margins of my New Yorker. Thank you, KJAZZ
Reliably, The Clientele have updated 1960s dream pop for the new century, providing nostalgic pangs in their mellifluous melodies. Their new album Bonfires on the Heath is one of their strongest. I'm even hearing some slow PInk Floyd-like songs on this one.
Since leaving Mazzy Star many years ago, singer Hope Sandoval continues, including her new album Through the Devil Softly, to sing in her lilting, aching voice, which makes you succumb helplessly to her smoky indolence. Yes, I highly recommend the new album.