John Oates names album 'Reunion', but Darryl Hall is not on it

NEW YORK (AP) — For many music fans John Oates is most recognizable as half of the Grammy nominees Hall & Oates, the multiplatinum soul-pop duo behind hits like “Rich Girl” and “Maneater,” now torn by lawsuits. But he has also had a full career as a soloist.

His sixth solo album, 'Reunion', will be released on May 17. Just don't take the title as a thinly veiled attempt to get the band back together — which he recognizes as “a real irony.”

In November, Hal Oates sued, arguing that his plan to sell his stake in a joint venture would violate the terms of a business agreement the duo had forged. He accused Oates of committing the murder “ultimate partnership betrayal” by intending to sell his share without the other's consent. A few days later, a judge sided with Hall in his request to temporarily restrain Oates from selling his potentially lucrative stake. The lawsuit is still ongoing.

“There has been no communication,” Oates said when asked if he has been in contact with Hall. 'And it's a shame that certain legal procedures work in a certain way, which of course I can't talk about. But let's put it this way. It works automatically. It will be resolved, and it will be over. It wasn't a fun two years, but you know what? I see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

“Reunion” was actually inspired by Oates' 100-year-old father.

“He's not doing well, and he's going to transfer — a euphemism for, you know,” he told The Associated Press from Nashville. “He told me he was going to reunite with his mother, who passed away several years ago. And that really struck me because I was thinking in a more emotional and metaphysical way about the true meaning of the word reunion, reunification.”

He began to apply the definition to different facets of his own life. “The fact that I'm moving on from my Hall & Oates experience means that I'm essentially being reunited with myself,” he says. “I'm trying to reunite with the essential part of who I am, not only as a man but also as a musician.”

But no Hall & Oates reunion.

“Personally I don't see it happening. It's not in my plans at all. You can ask Daryl Hall what he thinks. But not for me personally,” he says.

“I think we have achieved so much and published more than so many people could have ever imagined. To have a 50-year partnership and a 50-year legacy of making music together is, you know, it's more than anyone could ever hope for,” he says. “I'm done. And I want to move on. I want to spend the last creative years of my life investigating things that I find interesting and things that give me personal satisfaction.”

And so he focuses on the twelve songs of 'Reunion', which he says constitutes his 'most personal' album to date.

“I Found Love” and “All I Ask of You” were originally written in the 1990s. Many of the songs also function as lessons in music history, a passion of Oates' – as in the ode to the Piedmontese blues-and-folk duo 'Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee', or in covers of John Prines “Long Monday” and “Dance Hall Girls” by Canadian folk duo Fraser & DeBolt.

With this album, Oates hopes “people can finally see the man and musician beyond the ubiquitous fame and legacy of Hall and Oates' music.”

“Because I've always felt like I'm an individual and I've always felt like I wasn't the same as that music,” he says.

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