THE ROMANTICS: Strictly Personal: CD

This is the third album from The Romantics, released in 1981, it sounds different from the previous albums, and later ones with producer Mike “Clay” Stone, who had experience conjuring up big guitar sounds for Queen, Journey, and Black Oak Arkansas. Stone turned up the guitars, added echo to the drums and turned them into a mix of Cheap Trick and a metal band.

This made them sound like a different band on most of the album, but luckily, the songs were still there to save it from being horrible. “In The Nighttime,” “Look At Her,” “Bop,” “Can’t Get Over You,” “C’mon Girl (Work Out With Me),”She’s Hot,” “All That I Want,” and “Don’t You Put Me On Hold,” all had the goods to stand out from the bombast, the others…not so lucky. If the others were played for you blindfolded, you would not know what band it is, but these eight songs all stand out. Of course, in a few years, and with a different producer, they would go on to be huge hit makers, but here the record company just didn’t know what to do with them.I can’t say it’s a great album, but it’s far better than I thought it would be and the good songs really stand out. The remastered sound helps clear up some of the thick sound to make the band stand out better, and you can get an idea of how the song could have been.

Not a winner, but not a total failure at all since more songs still had the integrity of the band’s sound in them. Grab a copy, but don’t be surprised by the difference between this and the rest of their albums from the ’80s.

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