This album is considered a bit of a landmark in the Bee Gees catalogue because it marks the transition (or the beginning of the transition?) from their earlier baroque pop sound to their disco sound, as well as the introduction of Barry’s falsetto. This is as far as I know one of their albums.
Personally, I’m not really big on transition albums, unless I really like the band. I don’t particularly like the Bee Gees. So I don’t care if this album marks the point of their change in sound.
The other issue, for me, is that the Bee Gees I know from growing up are mostly the disco Bee Gees. And that’s the band I never liked. I actually don’t mind some of the Bee Gees’ baroque pop (though I’ve heard little) and so a transition from the earlier sound to a later sound is not growth for me. (Here’s a comparison: everyone loves the poppy Flaming Lips, but I love their crazy guitar noise era. I find the excessive celebration of the Lips sans guitar a little weird given that I like their earlier music more.)
These songs are catchy. Whatever I might say about the Gibbs, they are good at writing catchy songs. And I must say that I’m not sure I’ve ever thought too hard about their lyrics. They seem fine. (I guess I can quibble with “Jive Talkin’ or whatever. But mostly I find their lyrics innocuous.)
But I just don’t like disco and I particularly don’t like pop that is disco-influenced. Disco feels like funk without its weirdness and grit. And pop that’s discoized feels, to me, like it is just trying to be trendy. I can’t stress how uninterested in this music I am. It has nothing for me. It’s stuck between two genres, one of which I don’t like and one of which I only like when I like the songs enough (or the arrangements are interesting enough).
Because I’m not a Bee Gees fan, I can’t care about this album’s place in their catalogue. Because I don’t like disco – and I do not like the Saturday Day Night Fever soundtrack – I can’t look at this and see some kind of historical importance. I just don’t care.
Good for them for reinventing themselves and turning around their career but I will not be listening to this album again.