Time & Again

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Forget the fact that you might never even have heard of the Statens -- they were an extremely talented but hard-luck group out of New York's Staten Island, who could and should have crossed paths with the likes of the Mystics, Jay & the Americans, and Dion & the Belmonts, but never got their big break. This CD contains most of what they recorded in both demos and official releases across the eight years of their history. The harmonies are exquisite even when the accompaniments and sound are a little thin on the demos -- and the Mark-X single version of "Summertime Is the Time for Love" reveals that it's a pity they never got to do more with producer George Goldner. It's all worth hearing, not only on its own terms but as a showcase for the way that doo wop music evolved across a decade of history into other forms, including car songs ("You've Got a Bomb") and surf music ("Surfannanny"). The sources are in better shape than one would have expected on nearly 50-year-old sides never intended for release to the public, and doo wop and harmony vocal enthusiasts can safely add at least one and a half stars to the CD's rating for the general listener.

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