"Breathe air into my lungs & pray that doomsday never comes"
mwreview | Northern California, USA | 08/15/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When Two Hearts came out, Men At Work did not seem like the same fun-loving band from Australia that invaded the music world in 1981/2 with "Who Can It Be Now?" and "Down Under." Two members were no longer in the group, the album cover did not have the quirky design of the first two records, and the first single and video "Everything I Need" demonstrated a maturity in the music. Perhaps young music fans could not embrace this band anymore and those that did four years earlier had moved on. I was in that boat. Men At Work was the first band I liked back when I was 8 years old. Business As Usual was the first new album I bought (I remember being excited to see photos of the band on the inner sleeve). I kept up with the band through Cargo and, in 1985, bought Two Hearts. The magic had dissipated by then and I did not listen to the record much. Many years later I rediscovered Two Hearts and now consider it a very good album with a lot of variety.
Men At Work still demonstrated their characteristic humor on tracks like "Stay At Home" and "Sail to You" ("Dear old England had a mind around that time, 'cause they had a few problems with the rising crime. Wouldn't lose your head if you stole a loaf of bread, you got a one-way ticket to Australia instead"). Greg Ham plays a greater role on Two Hearts than on the previous two albums. He wrote and took over lead vocals on "Giving Up," "Stay At Home," and "Still Life," and wrote "Snakes and Ladders" (curiously, he did not play on the single "Maria"). "Still Life" is one of the best Men At Work songs. It is a ballad, beautifully-done. Of the Colin Hay tracks, my favorites are the powerful "Hard Luck Story" and the slow "Children on Parade." The title track is also a charming little number with clever lyrics ("like the man who has one hand, still he does what he can, proves that he's twice the man you are"). Still, Two Hearts is not just the release that turned out to be their last studio album, it actually SOUNDS like their last studio album. It does not seem to have the same camaraderie as the first two albums. It sounds like the three mates are doing their own thing and are ready to go their separate ways (guitarist Ron Strykert did not play on "Everything I Need"). Even the photos inside the cover are separate photos of each band member, doing his own thing. It is a nice album. "Still Life," alone, makes it worth the price, but it also is a little sad to listen to as it marked the end of a great band; a band I thought would be around a long time. "
Media Overkill: Death of a great album
Joel Thompson | Red Wing, MN | 01/04/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In the summer of 1985, I lived in the northern Rocky Mountains far from the mindless repetition of MTV and Top 40 radio. "Two Hearts" was in my car's tapedeck for that summer and it was not the lackluster and tepid folloup that so many people thought. The media's insatiable appetite for the next big thing is what killed Men At Work and many other promising bands. "Two Hearts" was an excellent third effort by the band and it clearly showed their maturity and growth as a band--it's a shame that its' hard to find--I hope someday it finds its' way to re-release. MTV ruined music for many--it peddled style over substance and as a result--a lot of great music was ignored. This album was clearly a casualty of media overexposure. None of that matters--to hell with the critics, it's a classic to me. It takes me back instantaneously to that summer and the great times I had...."
Excellent despite the conditions...
J. Collins | Dallas | 02/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Your record company wants you to do this, your producer wants you to do that, and your rhythm section needs an upgrade. Colin Hay proved to be quite the musical engineer on this, the band's third and final album. Judging from the quality of material put out by the band's leader since their demise, I would've fired my drummer, bassist, and maybe gotten Bob Clearmountain a better engineer. That being said, an excellent offering of tunes is contained here. Mostly all Colin Hay material, a significant contribution was made here by Greg Ham as well, before he fell off the proverbial cliff of music.If you don't like this, maybe you should stick to something a little more safer like Duran Duran. Then again, try the cliff."
A better album than you would think
Garry Daniel | Knoxville, TN United States | 07/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Many times a band on it's last legs will release a final album just to satisfy a contract and hope, at least, to make a bit of money before they kick off. Men at Work had just come off a phenomenal three year ride and were reduced to a trio at the time TWO HEARTS was released. But this is no hastily prepared album. TWO HEARTS is, in my opinion ,as good, if not better than the previous two albums.Consider the excellent title song, as well as the upbeat, and irresistably catchy GIVING UP.Good stuff. Check out the song EVERYTHING I NEED. I do think that overexposure to the band prevented radio from giving the final album (the final album of their first run) the attention it deserved. I bought the album when it came out having heard nothing from it on radio.I was not disappointed. So, check out TWO HEARTS and give it a shot. Good stuff, indeed."