Rolling Stone (11/15/90) - 3.5 Stars - Very Good
Hall & Oates: Daryl Hall (vocals, guitars, mandolin, keyboards, tambourine); John Oates (vocals, guitar, bongo, clay drums)
Additional personnel includes: Tom "T-Bone" Wolk (guitar, piano, bass, percussion, tambourine, background vocals); David A. Stewart, Waddy Wachtel, Jimmy Rip (guitar); Bobby Mayo (organ, keyboards, background vocals); Benmont Tench (keyboards); Mike Braun (drums, percussion).
Producers include: T-Bone Wolk, Daryl Hall, John Oates, Danny Korichmar, Jon Bon Jovi, David A. Stewart.
Engineers include: Larry Alexander, Ross Hogarth, Bob Cadway.
Hall and Oates only album of the '90s is in some regards a drastic stylistic break from their hitmaking '80s work. The duo's pop and soul influences are still here in abundance, but the gargantuan, synth-laden productions and the flirtation with hip-hop elements are gone; in their place is a vastly pared down soundscape, heavy on guitars, acoustic piano and Hammond organ.
In other words, this is a straightforward rock album, not all that different from, say, mid-period Springsteen. High points include the wistful "So Close," done electric to open the album and unplugged to end it, the Memphis soul-inflected "Starting All Over Again," a fairly overt homage to Sam and Dave, and "Only Love," a sort of New Wave country song with a discreet fiddle in the background.
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