Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Dwight Twilley 1: Sincerely

Dwight Twilley and Phil Seymour were a couple of nice boys with nice hair from Tulsa who created some of the tastiest power pop (though they despised that term) of the mid-‘70s. With Dwight concentrating on guitars and keyboards, and most of the singing and songwriting, and Phil holding down both bass and drums, together they were the faces of the Dwight Twilley Band, but that understates the nearly constant input of Bill Petcock IV on lead guitar. Both sang, and it takes a while to figure out who’s who. Their debut, Sincerely, provides plenty of catchy opportunities to do that.
It’s always a good idea to start your album with your hit single, and “I’m On Fire” is a terrific place to begin, with riffs, hooks, guitars, everything. “Could Be Love” combines real drums with a machine, and what sounds like a toy organ with a toy piano; clearly these guys had lots of fun making records. Lest you think they’re wimps, “Feeling In The Dark” is much harder rock, with Leon Russell pounding away on piano, then “You Were So Warm” evokes the Beach Boys in harmonies and chords. The title track sounds as lo-fi as anything else, but fun fact: the backwards guitar and bass were provided by engineer Roger Linn, just a few years before inventing his eponymous drum machine.
They’re not all winners, of course. “TV” is an ode to that very technology delivered by a rockabilly vocal; thankfully “Release Me” returns to a girl group sound. “Three Persons” has layered vocals that disguise the lyrics, but that “love you, love you” chorus always pricks up our ears. With its vibrato falsetto and cliché lyrics, “Baby Let’s Cruise” seems like a parody, but it’s just so damn infectious despite itself. “England” is probably the best example of how the lyrics don’t seem to have any purpose except to fill out the track, especially when “Just Like The Sun” does a better job of conveying an image.
As their friend Tom Petty soon found out, Shelter Records proved to be a false promise for a lot of its artists, so this and other Twilley albums have been in an out of print over the year, with and without bonus tracks. Thanks to the Internet, Sincerely is easy enough to be heard, and should be.

Dwight Twilley Band Sincerely (1976)—

2 comments:

  1. Good choice to review and pluck out of undeserved semi-obscurity.

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  2. Well, at least you know I'm new here...I realize now that these are reviews...not downloads! That said, I found your review to be completely in line for this long lost gem. Beautiful job! Maybe now, Twilley will find a bigger audience!
    Thank you! KC

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