Larry Carlton's fourth studio album, 1981's Strikes Twice, features the guitarist/vocalist playing a mix of crossover jazz and soft rock. While Carlton had previously sung and played guitar on his 1968 debut and 1973 follow-up, it was not until his 1978 eponymous release that he fully developed his trademark electric guitar sound, mixing jazz, rock, and pop elements. Strike Twice finds Carlton building upon that sound with songs that move between bright instrumental jazz rock ("Springville," "Midnight Parade") and melodic AM pop ("Ain't Nothin' for a Heartache," "Magician"). Carlton is backed here by a handful of stellar Los Angeles session musicians including his fellow Crusaders' bandmate bassist Robert "Pops" Popwell, keyboardist Terry Trotter, drummer John Ferraro, Brazilian percussionist Paulinho Da Costa, and others.
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AllMusic Review by Matt Collar