This is it…the album that took THE MOTELS to the next plateau and put them on the top of the charts. With MTV starting and the need for videos, the excellent song, plus Martha Davis’ smoldering good looks, there was no doubt that they were going to go big.
Kicking off with the fast-paced and catchy “Mission of Mercy”, the album starts on a high note. We then jump right into “Take The L”, a fantastic song with power and an energy that should have put this in the top ten. The band is playing right at the top of its game and the next song, “Only the Lonely” is a highlight not only on this album, but one for any band. With Davis’ plaintive singing and the deft playing of the band, they take a song that would be mushy and trite from another band and make it into the beautiful song that stands up today. “Art Fails” is a great new wave song that has a fair bit of classic rock guitar work that gives it a nice edge. “Change My Mind” shows the chops that the band has with the smokey jazz sound that they pull off perfectly. “So L.A.” has a fantastic synthesizer sound throughout, cold and melodic and has a huge amount of depth. “Tragic Surf” is more in the rock camp, but adds enough gloss to keep both the rockers and the new wavers happy. “Apocalypso” was supposed to be the name of the third album, but was rejected by the record company and this re-recorded version of the song has terrific saxophone throughout. “He Hit Me (and It Felt Like a Kiss)” is kind of the twin to “Take The L” with a sound very close to it. “Forever Mine” has a Motown sound and is bright and airy sounding. and ends a fantastic album.
Has the band gotten any better from their first two albums, no, the songs are just a bit tighter and the musical climate moved into their sound and with video play, they got the hit album that they deserved. From start to finish, an album that will make you feel good and bring back memories of your youth and get you singing and dancing.