First Listen: John Oates wants you to "Get Your Smile On"

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    (December 29, 2023) It’s been one heck of a year for John Oates, one half of the widely successful rock ‘n soul duo Hall & Oates. For starters, he’s dropped enough standalone singles to make a full-length album, including a reggae-tinged rework of “Maneater,” a cover of Timmy Thomas’ poignant anthem “Why Can’t We Live Together,” and with bluesy originals like “Too Late to Break Your Fall” and the tranquil gem “Disconnected.” And if that wasn’t enough, he took over our TV sets with a short stint on season 10 of the FOX hit reality singing competition series The Masked Singer while dressed as Anteater. 

    (December 29, 2023) It’s been one heck of a year for John Oates, one half of the widely successful rock ‘n soul duo Hall & Oates. For starters, he’s dropped enough standalone singles to make a full-length album, including a reggae-tinged rework of “Maneater,” a cover of Timmy Thomas’ poignant anthem “Why Can’t We Live Together,” and with bluesy originals like “Too Late to Break Your Fall” and the tranquil gem “Disconnected.” And if that wasn’t enough, he took over our TV sets with a short stint on season 10 of the FOX hit reality singing competition series The Masked Singer while dressed as Anteater. 

    But all eyes and ears have been glued to the developing news story surrounding a bitter legal battle with his longtime musical partner Daryl Hall. While the two have been embroiled in court drama, the media has been having a field day dropping punning headlines while name dropping some of their big hits like “Say It Isn’t So” and “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do).” Regarding the fallout, Oates recently commented on the matter on David Yontef’s Behind the Velvet Rope podcast. “I’m really proud of what Daryl and I created together. I think we made music that will stand the test of time.” However, he adds a remarkable revelation to the matter: “I don’t like living in the past…I have moved on. It’s just a matter of living in my present.” 

    And Oates is proving just that, with the drop of a new single. “Get Your Smile On” feels so reminiscent to smooth R&B grooves and harmonies once heard in the Hall & Oates universe. Think of “Sara Smile” or 2003’s “Forever for You,” but with sunnier vibes. It’s a pleasant return to the familiar, as Oates hammers down a solid vocal performance full of grit and doses of delicate vibrato. But with everything happening in the world today, the positive direction of optimism feels so timely: “Baby, get your smile on…’cause it looks so good on you and it feels so good to me.”

    While discussing the song’s origins and its focus, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee stated it “was yet another song that I wrote during the [2019 COVID-19] pandemic.” He adds: “When I was trying my best to search for any positive vibe I could come up with…since I had a lot of time on my hands, I began to write using GarageBand on my Mac. It…began to come together so well, I decided to really produce the track the way I would have in a professional, recording studio. I played all the instruments, programmed the keyboards and sang all the vocals as well. This is the first time I’m releasing a pure GarageBand production. I’m happy the way it came out and I hope it puts a smile on your face when you hear it.”

    Arriving just in time for the holiday season, the single bears a sweet philanthropic arm with all proceeds from the single going to Teen Cancer America. The accompanying music video even features survivors of cancer participating in the Teen Cancer America Music program. “John is a fantastic supporter of our charity and has given his time and talent to helping the young people with cancer that we serve,” says Roger Daltrey, the organization’s co-founder and The Who frontman. “Now he's featuring them on his latest video and donating the proceeds from the single to us. This means so much to me.”

    Starting in January, Oates will be hitting the road for a fourteen-date U.S. tour with more dates and stops to be announced. Check out the warm joyous track below and let us know if you’re smiling to the new music. 

    By J Matthew Cobb

    John Oates - "Get Your Smile On"

     
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