This was the third album the Isleys recorded with their 3 + 3 lineup, which really perfected its attractive soul/rock sound with the the sweaty funk classic "Fight the Power," the sexy slow jam "For the Love of You," and caressing ballads "Make Me Say It Again Girl" and "Sensuality." Superb from start to finish, The Heat Is On is among the Isleys' most essential albums.
Both dismissed and praised with easy Smiths comparisons, Gene's debut unveiled a much more nuanced self-portrait. Showcasing the emotive warmth of singer Martin Rossiter, whose lyrics evinced the doomed romanticism of Rimbaud, Olympian introduced the band's finely attenuated guitar-based anthems, rife with jazzy harmonics, baroque asides, and bit of grunge muscularity. A rare album back-loaded with the best songs -- "Sleep Well Tonight" and "Olympian" are bookend perfect -- it remains a maliciously overlooked classic of the Brit-pop era.