After a strong start at the beginning of the 1980s, the S.O.S. Band quickly hit that rut which is so sadly common among young bands needing a second shot of gold and, by 1983, they were teetering on the edge of an oncoming oblivion. It is to their ever-lasting credit that not only were they able to pull out of the nosedive, they did it with such aplomb that On the Rise could easily have been retitled Back on Top. Teaming with hot writing/production team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, a completely revitalized S.O.S. Band found themselves firmly on the top of the charts and in the public eye. Hip, slick, and full of dance tricks, the band infused On the Rise with enough '80s synth sounds to break through in the clubs, while keeping their funk roots intact. Energized throughout, the set hardly slows down for a moment. From "For Your Love" and the stellar second side opener, "I'm Not Runnin'," to the Motown soul stylings of "Who's Making Love," the S.O.S. Band proved they still had their moves. The album spun two songs into the top of the R&B charts -- "Tell Me if You Still Care" reached number five, while the showstopping "Just Be Good to Me" dropped in at number two, not only becoming one of 1983's defining songs, but also returning the band to the spotlight in 1991, when the English house band Beats International revisited the grooves across their smash "Dub Be Good to Me." On the Rise is the sound of a band finding their feet again -- and knowing what to do with them once they'd found them.
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AllMusic Review by Amy Hanson