Big Bam Boom is the last in a series of Hall & Oates albums that starts with 1980’s Voices. Over the course of four albums, the blue-eyed soul duo from Philly perfected a recipe that represented a convergence of the era’s most popular styles: synth-pop, new wave, lite rock, and modern R&B. One can trace the evolution of musical styles in the early ‘80s through Hall & Oates’ albums, and Big Bam Boom presents the dawning of a new age. The synth sounds on “Dance On Your Knees” and “Going Thru the Motions” are mechanical and jagged, signaling the dawn of an era that would belong to Prince and Huey Lewis. Despite the shifting sands, the duo could still craft some of its signature featherweight pop: “Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid” and “Possession Obsession” are two of the band’s dreamiest confections. At the same time, the sublimely hook-laden but guitar-driven “Out of Touch” shares some ground with the seminal British band New Order, who were just beginning its rise to fame in 1984. Although Hall & Oates would be successful for years to come, Big Bam Boom brings to a close an era that they helped define.