“Do What You Want, Be What You Are” by Daryl Hall & John Oates (1976)

Do you think that Daryl Hall masturbates to the sound of his own voice?

I’m half-kidding, and I maybe shouldn’t single Daryl out, because almost all great vocalists can get show-offy from time to time. Aretha and Luther did it. Patti and Chaka (maybe not so much Chaka) does. “Do What You Want…”, as good a song as it is, may give a listener the impression that Daryl is doing tricks with his own voice not for soul or for emphasis, but because he can. That said, if I’m going to make a list of singers I want to hear overdoing it vocally, Daryl Hall is pretty high up on that list.

“Do What You Want…” gets five stars for being one of their most soulful grooves (even the guitar solo is slinky and smooth in that ‘70s R&B kinda way) more than it does for Daryl’s (admittedly impressive and impassioned) singing. During the late ‘70s, Daryl walked the line between “he’s killing it!” and “he’s overdoing it a smidge” better than just about any other singer.

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