Hall & Oates - "Everything Your Heart Desires"

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OK they're white, but this charted at #15 on the black charts, a little over six years after "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)" became the first single to simultaneously hit Number One on the Hot 100. The arrangement is as billowy as the duo's mullets, flaccid almost -- the first time since the late '70s that Daryl Hall and John Oates merely replicated other contemporaneous chart hits rather than attempting a weird-ass overstated hybrid; and there's some poignancy in H&O chasing the sound (nascent quiet-storm New Jackism) with which Al B Sure! would score an even greater hit a few weeks later. Although Hall gets sole songwriting credit, the twinkly keyboards and harmonies echo Oates' work earlier that year on Australian band Icehouse's sole American Top Ten hit "Electric Blue" (which has become, defying all comprehension, one of my evergreens). Hall still hasn't lost the cynicism which made most of his previous slow jams the sort of laments that Bryan Ferry would have written had he been Ted Nugent; but, showing how much he'd learned about riding a melody instead of overpowering it, he renders "Everything Your Heart Desires" as tongue-worthy as "One on One."

The genius part qualifying "Everything..." as a member of H&O's all-time list comes during the 3:18 mark, when the duo's multitracked harmonies tremble and teeter over an unexpectantly humble Hall; they never crush him, but that they come close enough is a most welcome gesture in a career infamous for crooning free of calamity rather than facing the consequences. I'm not surprised that "Everything Your Heart Desires" was H&O's last big hit.