Dwight Twilley Band
Released: July 1976
Chart Peak: #138
Weeks Charted: 14
In America's less criss-crossed midsection, young rockers have the opportunity to incubate their dreams -- and their talents -- free of pressure. The most romantic of these Middle American rock & rollers make up an intriguing group of isolate but still much-inspired hip-innocents. Probably the best is Memphis's Big Star, whose two Stax-distributed albums are among the finest I've heard in the Seventies, but the Hot Dogs, Blue Ash and Cowboy (from Memphis, Youngstown and Macon, respectively) also know intuitively how to turn Beatles, Byrds and Beach Boys influences into thrilling and individual records.
The thoroughly inspired efforts of Tulsa's Dwight Twilley Band are finally drawing national attention to this phenomenon. Like Big Star, the Twilleys wrap themselves handsomely in Sixties filigree, with an emphasis on pre-psychedelic Beatles, adding some rockabilly echo for greater resonance. They do it so well and with such personality that it seems nothing short of miraculous.
There are 12 tracks, all originals, nine of which were recorded in Tulsa; the longest is "I'm on Fire" at 3:15. All of the songs are loaded with gorgeous evocations not just of the three Bs but also of the Searchers, Mamas & Papas, Ventures, ? and the Mysterians, Buddy Knox, and the Turtles (among others), overlaid and quick-cut into a dazzingly coherent style. Twilley and partner Phil Seymour do all the vocals and most of the instrumental work, with Bill Pitcock IV laying in guitar leads on 11 of the songs.
Sincerely is -- to use the Hawaiian vernacular -- "chicken skin" music, in which the abundant sublime moments are as significant and well defined as any of the tracks as a whole. In keeping with the milieu they're advancing, the Twilleys have more sophistication and daring than they know what to do with. But at the same time, they manage to purvey a completely credible teen-innocent's romanticism. If their work here is blatantly derivative, it's also quite personal. The Twilley Band has concocted the best rock debut album of the year.
- Bud Scoppa, Rolling Stone, 9/9/76.
The harmony exhibited by Twilley and Phil Seymour is the most outstanding quality of this album. Leon Russell joins the team playing piano and bass on "Feeling In The Dark." The concept of the album is not new, but the voices are clear and distinctive. The album, containing both uptempo and ballads, was written entirely by Twilley and contains his hit of last year "I'm On Fire." Best cuts: "I'm On Fire," "Feeling In The Dark," "Release Me," "England," "Just Like The Sun."
- Billboard, 1976.
- Robert Christgau, Christgau's Record Guide, 1981.
From the opening Anglo-pop/rock-meets-rockabilly blast of the Top 20 hit single "I'm on Fire," through breezy jangle-rock numbers like "You're So Warm," "Just like the Sun," and "England," to the dirge-like psychedelia of the title song, Sincerely is Twilley's finest album. It's a must-own for fans of guitar pop/rock. The CD includes four bonus tracks. * * * *
- Rick Clark, The All-Music Guide to Rock, 1995.
Twilley and Phil Seymour, his partner in crime, set out to preserve guitar pop in the mid-70s with Sincerely (1976) and Twilley Don't Mind (1977), seminal works that combined Twilley's straightforward, Tom Petty-style rock and Seymour's pop sensibilities.
- Chris Richards, Musichound Rock: The Essential Album Guide, 1996.
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