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Album review | SOUL

The Delfonics, ‘Adrian Younge Presents the Delfonics’

This isn’t your father’s Delfonics. The version he might remember was rooted in Philly soul’s sweeping string arrangements and a young William Hart crooning in his sweet falsetto on hits like “(La-La) Means I Love You” and “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time).” Now in his 80s, Hart isn’t the same man (or voice) he used to be, but he still has plenty to say, and producer Adrian Younge is the ideal choice to take dictation. Guided by Younge’s grittier sound, an older, wiser Hart explores rawer emotions: “Stand Up” is a funky rebuke of social apathy, ominous “Enemies” bristles with paranoia, and tender “Lover’s Melody” doesn’t disguise its sexual undercurrent. Younge rarely puts a note wrong in his arrangements; his stripped-down approach echoes the Delfonics’ influence on artists like RZA and El Michels Affair without sounding derivative. Purists may decry it as Delfonics for the Tarantino generation. I say: More, please. (Out Tuesday) Martín Caballero

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