This is the fifth and final studio album from THE MOTELS until they released the album Clean Modern and Reasonable which was issued in September 2007. They were working on another album to be released after this, but Martha Davis decided to go solo and the band broke up nearly two years later.
The album does have more flourishes of the ’80s, but it still holds onto the great songwriting, the seductive vocals of Davis and the sinewy saxophone that peppers their music. Singles released from this album include the U.S. top 40 “Shame,” the Top 100 title track “Shock,” as well as an Australia only release “Icy Red” that did not chart.
The singles “Shame” and “Shock” start this album off on a fantastic high. Both songs being full of life and sublime beauty that still resonates after all these years. “Hungry” is a nice slower song with great saxophone and Davis’ beautiful vocals making you get shivers. “Annie Told Me” has a nice slow beat and is full of lush keyboards and plaintive vocals, plus a great sax solo. “Icy Red” continues the slower set of songs, but is so full of emotion and bleakness that its cold sound and would fit in perfectly with a walk in the woods on a snowy day. “New York Times” brings the pace up a bit more and sounds like it could have been a single in its own right. “State of the Heart”, and “Cries and Whispers” keep things upbeat and are full of hooks, while “My Love Stops Here”, and “Night by Night” are slower and especially the latter sound like classic slow songs from the band.
Yes it has a definite ’80s sound to the production and the effects in the songs, but the good thing is that the songs are still of a high standard that it still works. The band was consistent, putting out great music time and time again and never received the recognition that they deserved, get this album and all of the other remastered albums and enjoy music that is timeless.