The Delfonics

The Professionals

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The bulk of The Professionals consists of ten previously unreleased cuts recorded in 1975 for a planned follow-up to Alive & Kicking. The album was shelved after the poor performance of the band's last few singles, and the cuts appear here for the first time. As could be expected, it's not difficult to see why these cuts were never released, even though they sound fairly identical to the band's other hits, especially the classic "Didn't I Blow Your Mind." There are some interesting standout moments here, such as the dance break inserted into the middle of "Your Name," or the jazzy rhythms of "The Same Things That Make You Laugh." Most of it, though, lacks the punch and energy of earlier hits, which suggests that one of the reasons the album wasn't released is because the Delfonics' formula may have started to wear thin (even though none of this sounds unlistenable or ill-conceived). The disc also includes several cuts from Alive & Kicking and the comparison is interesting, since those songs sound musically similar but much more lively and crisp. Part of that may have been the fuller production, but it still seems like the band had essentially peaked by 1974. As an added bonus, the disc includes an outtake from the Alive & Kicking sessions, "Don't Leave Me," and it's a lovely, though inessential, ballad. The Professionals will be of value mostly to Delfonics fans and collectors, but newcomers should probably stick with other collections.

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