Two Headed Monster
Andre' S Grindle | Bangor,ME. | 05/05/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
""H20" is basically divided into a soul and a rock side.Side
A contains all the hits plus the lean,stripped-down "Crime Pays"
and the rolicking doo-wop of "Open All Night".Side Two contains the rockier "Family Man","Italian Girls" and the catchy "Guessing Games" making this a worthy addition to the
H&O's early 80's showcase."
Here They Come!!!
Andre S. Grindle | Brewer Maine | 09/27/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You know there is always something I liked about Hall & Oates. I could "I Can't Go For That" on the radio and NEVER EVER get tired of hearing their hits again and again. I think this all really started to happen a little under a decade ago when I started purchasing their original albums and admiring not only their songwriting but their BAND!! It was not a large group but like many of the great bands they had a tremendous sound and impact. One really ultimately likable quality about this particular album not only continues a winning streak that started as the decade begun but actually does a lot to glossy up the sound in a very classy way as not to intrude on the general musical framework they were working with.The hits "Maneater" and "One On One" are actually prime examples. Neither are close to huge productions,in fact both are very stripped down. And the gloss hits the songs in just the right places. The same thing happens on "Crime Pays",a slinky naked funk sort of jam and the upbeat "Guessing Games";the sound isn't huge but the way everything is put together give it a certain push of fullness. John Oates gets two numbers and both are a couple of the rockier numbers with some fairly loud guitars on the cheeky "Italian Girls" and the lumbering,arty "At Tension". It seems he was kind of taking a similar possition in his arena as Andy Summers did in The Police;he was a strong contributing sidekick but when put out front his musical ideas were generally somewhat too eccentric and experimental for the average pop album. A lot of these songs rock out in a much heavier and more surious way than most Hall & Oates music from this era such as what happens on "Art Of Heartbreak","Delayed Reaction","Open All Night" and "Go Solo" which,for Daryl Hall proved fairly prophetic. "Family Man",one of the few cover songs they ever did actually got them a hit and actually combines a rock/soul jam with this new wavey feeling;imagine The Cars covering an The Young Rascals song I suppose lol. Probably a terrible analogy but as of this writing I could'nt think of another. Whatever way you cut it you realize upon hearing this that,while they certainly had no problems landing hits on the charts Hall & Oates maintained the mentality of their musical generation into the 1980's by using the AOR format as a format with which to expand their pallet of sounds,textures and styles. It worked in the 60's with The Beatles,in the 80's with this duo and you really have to wonder sometimes why it doesn't occur more now than it does."