Editors’ Notes It doesn’t take much to figure out that this is one of the weirder records in the Hall & Oates catalog. War Babies? It sounds more like the work of a hard rock band than of a blue-eyed soul duo. And sure enough, one listen confirms suspicions somewhat. It's not quite hard rock, but not the Philly soul-pop sounds of Abandoned Luncheonette, either. Here, producer Todd Rundgren brought in his band Utopia to back the duo, and the writing immediately took on a sardonic edge that made it difficult to figure out where Daryl Hall and John Oates were writing about themselves and when they were crafting a vaguely conceptual work with plenty of artistic distance. Casual fans asked to identify the performers behind “Is It a Star” and “Beanie G. and the Rose Tattoo” might wonder if it isn’t a cross of Steely Dan, Frank Zappa, and, well, Todd Rundgren. Fans of progressive rock are more likely to enjoy and relate to this album than traditional Hall & Oates fans. File under: fascinating albums of the '70s.

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