Where so much big-'80s pop now seems cute but harmless—still robo-anonymous, but quaintly so—time has revealed something deeper in the pristine hits of Daryl Hall & John Oates from just before and after the dawn of MTV. Even an abbreviated list—"Kiss on My List," "You Make My Dreams," "Private Eyes," "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)," "One on One," "Say It Isn't So," "Out of Touch," "Method of Modern Love"—is astonishing. What once felt slick or facile about this string of ebullience turns out to be its own kind of sincerity: a faith in, and excitement about, pop craft and Philadelphia soul, as touching and naive as the purest punk cry. Last year's beautifully sequenced box, Do What You Want, Be What You Are: The Music of Daryl Hall & John Oates, revealed a career worth loving and exploring before and after the bouffant/mustache peak, from '70s hits ("She's Gone," "Sara Smile," "Rich Girl") up through the more recent title track. But the joy was always there in the sure and clarion edge of Hall's falsetto, and in the upbeat musicality of the duo's beats, which were hypnotic hip hop well before De La Soul sampled "I Can't Go For That."
Fri., Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m., 2010