The Nylons


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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 who created their most beloved recordings. Seamless, their third album, may not have reached the heights of One Size Fits All, but that blame can probably be pinned on the record company, which was looking for a "hit". The album's synth-generated percussive element dates the recordings a bit, but, overall, the album's songs and the vocals eventually rise above and shine through. The re-recording of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," obviously a record company request, may be better than the version on their self-titled debut, but it is ultimately the weakest track on the album. Connors' voice is angelic on their touching and respectful version of the Beatles' "This Boy," and his lead on "Up on the Roof" steals the album. Though the album contains a fair share of cleverly chosen cover versions (the Eurythmics' "Take Me To Your Heart" is most unexpected, while "Remember (Walking in the Sand)" is standard fair), it's the band's originals that stand out: Cooper's "Perpetual Emotion" and "The Stars Are Ours," are two of his best, while Connors and Morrison's "Combat Zone" is a treat. The gents' voices are in top form throughout and there's no doubt that each member brings plenty of strengths to the Nylons' sound. Because of their success in their homeland of Canada, more commercial pressure meant that the days of simple vocal arrangements (i.e., the first two albums) were a thing of the past, and that the band would have to explore more complex material in order to maintain their success. Seamless was the first step in that direction. It may not be a step forward, but it certainly wasn't a total stumble either.

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