Hypnotic And Lonely

One-hit wonders are a funny thing. How does a band that’s mostly mediocre cook on all cylinders for one song but never get the magic back? The group Hypnotic are in a slightly different category: a pair of brothers–from Canada, no less–showed up in the 80s to release the song “Are You Lonely” for the excellently-named “Street-Level Records” label, and then they more or less disappeared. (I can’t even find them on allmusic!) Apparently this song was produced by Alan Felder, who wrote a lot for Philadelphia soul groups, including Harold Melvin & the Blues Notes–which makes sense, because whoever is singing lead in this tune is doing a damn good Teddy Pendergrass impression. The trick of the song is that it’s a massive come-on couched as a question; he’s not really asking a girl if she’s lonely, he’s telling her he’s lonely and that she can do something about it. It’s a thundering piece of funk, and it seems like it could have led to more. . . but they were never heard from again. Maybe they were so lonely they spontaneously combusted?

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