Music Review: ‘Charlie Faye & the Fayettes’

Charlie Faye & the Layettes

In recent decades, groups ranging from Blondie to the Bangles have tapped elements of the 1960s’ “girl group” sound, combining it with assorted modern touches. But Charlie Faye & the Fayettes—a female trio led by their namesake—skip the updating and concentrate on delivering upbeat R&B/Motown-spiced sixties pop. This eponymous debut offers the sort of ear candy that produced hits for the Shangri-Las, the Mermaids, Reparata and the Delrons, the Cookies, the Paris Sisters, and the Angels.

Charlie Faye authored or co-authored all of the album’s teen-dream songs, which are concise (most clock in at two-and-a-half to three minutes), well hooked, and loaded with lines about “cruel hearts,” “playing hard to get to get,” “sweet little messages,” and the like. The vocal harmonies are excellent and while the backup doesn’t quite take us into Phil Spector territory, it does employ everything from glockenspiels to saxes to deliver a rich, radio-ready sound. The album is anachronistic in the best possible way.

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