Daryl Hall and John Oates launched a comeback effort in 1997 with Marigold Sky, but few paid attention -- partially because the time wasn't right, partially because it wasn't the right album for a comeback. Six years later, the duo tried it again with Do It for Love and, remarkably, it all clicked. First of all, the climate was ripe for a Hall & Oates reunion, not just because the group was subjected to a flattering episode of VH1's Behind the Music, but because their longtime fans and '80s nostalgiaics alike were warm to the duo's hooky, sophisticated, effortlessly enjoyable blue-eyed soul. Then, there's the fact that Do It for Love is their best album in 20 years, even if it has very little to do with the sharply modern new wave-soul of Private Eyes and H2O. Although it sounds like neither, this hearkens back to the sensibility of both Abandoned Luncheonette and 1975's eponymous debut for RCA, where the emphasis was on the songwriting and the productions understatedly served the song. The big difference between Do It for Love and those records is that, musically, it isn't particularly adventurous; it is firmly settled in the blue-eyed soul tradition, sometimes blurring the line between that and adult contemporary. However, it shares with those records a strong sense of songcraft and consistently enjoyable songs and performances. It's true that nothing here will erase memories of their biggest hits, yet nearly all of these 14 songs hold their own against many of the album tracks and lesser-known hits from their golden period while also having a unified sense of sound and purpose, adding up to a thoroughly satisfying record, the kind that will please the faithful while winning back those listeners who haven't really listened to the duo since the '80s. A really fine, surprising comeback effort.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine