1980's Middle Man
was Boz Scaggs
' last album for Columbia before an eight-year self-imposed sabbatical. Scaggs
nonetheless caps off the decade with equal nods to his '70s hitmaking formulas and the newer, shinier production techniques of the coming decade. The synthesizer rocker "Angel You" and the title track are given the full in-vogue androgynous (i.e., Hall & Oates
) treatment, while the opener "Jo Jo" and "Simone" are pages taken from his Here's the Low Down
-era grooves that wedded soulful vocals against a flurry of jazz changes. His penchant for the ballad is explored on "You Can Have Me Any Time" and "Isn't It Time," while his seldom-seen rockier side comes up for air on the bluesy "Breakdown Dead Ahead" and "You Got Some Imagination," both featuring stinging guitar from Steve Lukather
. Not his best album, but a very timely one.