Strategem was an unexpected failure, delivered exactly at the moment when Big Head Todd & the Monsters could have broken into the mainstream. With its follow-up, Beautiful World, the group regained their musical strengths, but at the expense of the pop songs that could bring them to a wider audience. The Monsters jam with an expert grace throughout the record, particularly with guests John Lee Hooker and Bernie Worrell, and producer Jerry Harrison helps keep things focused. However, the group neglected to write hooks, which means Beautiful World is an album for the converted, not one to bring them a new audience.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine