Dwight Twilley / Dwight Twilley Band

Sincerely

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Dwight Twilley's first album, Sincerely, opens with "I'm on Fire," a pop tune so unstoppable that it became a Top 20 single even though Twilley and his partner Phil Seymour didn't have an album to go with it when it hit radio in the spring of 1975. It would be close to a year before Sincerely finally emerged, after sessions at London's Trident Studio were scrapped in favor of material recorded in Twilley's hometown of Tulsa, OK. Commercially, the decision was nearly fatal to Twilley's career momentum, but it's hard to argue with what he and Seymour came up with; with the two handling nearly all the vocals and instruments themselves, they crafted a power pop masterpiece, one that merged their Anglophile leanings with the Southern roots of rock & roll better than any of their contemporaries (including Big Star, who never seemed as comfortable with Memphis soul as they were with Liverpool pop). While nothing on the album quite matches the genius of "I'm on Fire" (what does?), the rest of the album is a consistently impressive, nodding towards a number of rock & roll touchstones while sounding confidently original at all times; the Raspberries-on-downs glide of "Baby, Let's Cruise," the loping updated rockabilly of "T.V.," the funky groove of "Feeling in the Dark," the Searchers-esque jangle of "Three Persons," and the broken-hearted melancholy of "I'm Losing You" could each be the work of a different band, but the strength of Twilley's songwriting and Seymour's versatile vocal chops bring a welcome unity to these many shades of pop perfection. While Twilley and Seymour would both enjoy long careers with a certain degree of success, neither ever made an album quite as good as Sincerely -- though they came close.

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