The Nylons

Happy Together

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The Nylons' performing career began in 1980 at a time when a cappella outfits were not in vogue. The fact that the Nylons were unlike any a cappella act on the scene made them stand out and earned them accolades and a devoted audience almost immediately. The band has existed in one form or another for more than 25 years, but it is the original quartet of Claude Morrison, Arnold Robinson, Paul Cooper, and Mark Connors that created their most beloved recordings. Happy Together was the band's fourth album and is probably their most popular, commercially. Taking a small step forward from Seamless, Happy Together still uses electronic percussion but not in an intrusive way. In fact, the rhythms of the album add a worldly vibe to the recordings, and allow the boys to be a bit more playful with their voices. The most successful tracks on the album were covers of "Happy Together" and "Kiss Him Goodbye," but the spirited version of "Chain Gang" deserves mention. As on their previous releases, the band's originals, mostly by Cooper, are the standouts on the album. "This Island Earth" is top-notch and remains one of Cooper's finest, while Arnold Robinson's vocals on "Crazy in Love (Morning Comes Early)" and Connors voice carrying "It's What They Call Magic" lifts Cooper's writing to a new level. Morrison's "Grown Man Cry" is stunning, and the song's simple, touching arrangement sounds like it could have easily fit on One Size Fits All. Connors and Cooper penned the joyous "Face In The Crowd," another notch in their belts. Only the trite "Dance of Love" fails to please, although it's certainly not a terrible entry in their catalog. After the slightly disappointing Seamless, Happy Together was a step in the right direction and sounds like a true compromise between the guys' artistic approach to their music, and the record label's insistence on a more commercial sound.

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