Displaying a command of pop styles and satire, 10cc showed that they are a force to be reckoned with on their first album. Hooks abound, harmonies shine, and instrumentation is dazzling without being overdone. Though charges of "self-consciously clever" could be leveled at the group, their command of witty, Anglo-styled pop is so impressive that even those criticisms must be weighed against the mastery of styles. All four members sing lead and are talented songwriters, and this leads to a wide variety of styles that add to their vision. Featuring their number one U.K. hit "Rubber Bullets," 10cc wade through ten selections of satire and parody. One of the best is "Johnny Don't Do It," a parody of all the "death discs" of the late '50s and early '60s (the misunderstood "bad but really good" guy who is killed in a wreck). More contemporary and bitingly sarcastic is "Headline Hustler," a commentary on the ravenous, scandal-hungry media. Medical facilities and the treatment afforded there is given ripe 10cc commentary in "The Hospital Song." ("And when I go, I'll die of plaster casting love.") Whether doing loving parodies of the music they grew up with or satirizing contemporary issues, 10cc show themselves to be top-level purveyors of pop on their debut recording. Some might criticize the group for being too self-satisfied with their own intelligence, but there is no denying the true craftsmanship and humor on their 1973 debut.
AllMusic Review by Michael Ofjord