By the early '80s, Hall and Oates had mastered a canny synthesis of their doo-wop and Philly soul roots with New Wave energy and hard rock grit. And this album, one of their very best, is a perfect example of how to craft unabashedly commercial pop music with brains. A certain over-reliance on synthesizers and drum machines dates it slightly, as does the slightly misogynistic tone of some of the lyrics, but overall this is irresistible stuff. Prime cuts include the hit "Maneater," one of the best Motown pastiches ever; the hooky "Family Man"; "Delayed Reaction," which splits the difference (successfully) between '60s garage rock and early stuff by the Police; the should have been a single "Italian Girls"; and the lovely soft soul ballad "One on One."
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