14 Songs, 1 Hour 3 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Hall & Oates were the perfect group for 1982, a year that saw lite R&B, crunchy new wave, and eccentric synth-pop all sharing space at the top of the charts. H20 returns to the biting guitar and crisp drums that made Private Eyes a success, but here the sound is tempered by sweeter hooks and more pillowy synths. Songs like “Italian Girls” go right to the verge of cheese, but Hall & Oates keep enough edge and self-knowing wit about them to prevent anything from becoming too sappy. The album’s smash single, “Maneater,” is a song that flirts with smooth jazz but stays taut enough to make it all feel just right. Elsewhere, Hall & Oates lay the blueprint for the era’s every musical trend: jittery Elvis Costello-esque pop (“Delayed Reaction”), the stadium power ballad (“Go Solo”), even quiet storm R&B (“Open All Night”). “One On One” is the confection that no one else ever managed to replicate. Even with its syrupy glisten, the song’s skeletal beat and disarming sincerity make for something indelible. Under every style was the always-ingenious songcraft and infectious melodies that keep these songs fresh for the future.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Hall & Oates were the perfect group for 1982, a year that saw lite R&B, crunchy new wave, and eccentric synth-pop all sharing space at the top of the charts. H20 returns to the biting guitar and crisp drums that made Private Eyes a success, but here the sound is tempered by sweeter hooks and more pillowy synths. Songs like “Italian Girls” go right to the verge of cheese, but Hall & Oates keep enough edge and self-knowing wit about them to prevent anything from becoming too sappy. The album’s smash single, “Maneater,” is a song that flirts with smooth jazz but stays taut enough to make it all feel just right. Elsewhere, Hall & Oates lay the blueprint for the era’s every musical trend: jittery Elvis Costello-esque pop (“Delayed Reaction”), the stadium power ballad (“Go Solo”), even quiet storm R&B (“Open All Night”). “One On One” is the confection that no one else ever managed to replicate. Even with its syrupy glisten, the song’s skeletal beat and disarming sincerity make for something indelible. Under every style was the always-ingenious songcraft and infectious melodies that keep these songs fresh for the future.

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