The Tokens

Intercourse

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The Tokens are generally thought of as the vocal group who brought their "Lion Sleeps Tonight" hit to yet another generation through the success of The Lion King. But what we have here is the great lost Tokens album, recorded in 1968 and promptly turned down by Warner Bros. To fill a contractual obligation, a few hundred copies were pressed up -- in a slightly altered form -- and the album pretty much remained an interesting catalog sighting before its CD-era reissue. What we also have here is a White doo wop group delivering an album that falls somewhere between Pet Sounds and Sgt. Pepper's. No wonder Warner didn't know what to make of it; previous attempts by other doo woppers at updating their sound produced some of the most laughable examples that the genre has to offer. But everything on here works in a very organic manner: all of the songs follow a neat continuum and could easily be termed as a humanistic song cycle, each one surrounded by late-'60s Beatlesque production values, right down to the massively compressed drum sounds and omnipresent tape saturation. Trippy, loopy, and totally of its time, classic doo wop this is not; great, however, it is.

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