On Grab It for a Second, Golden Earring continued in the straightforward hard rock direction they started with 1977's Contraband. They also went for a more radio-friendly sound by teaming up with producer Jimmy Iovine, who polished their sound to a new level of slickness and also fleshed out the group's sound with session musicians like percussionist Jimmy Maelen. The result is an album that rocks hard, but loses sight of the band's personality. Much of Grab It for a Minute feels like an attempt to compete with the likes of Bad Company or Aerosmith: rockers like "Roxanne" and "Tempting" crackle with energy but feel like they could have been performed by any second-tier hard rock band of the 1970s. The hard-rocking numbers are further hindered by Jimmy Iovine's overtly slick production, which causes them to sound so similar to each other that they end up blending together into an indistinguishable blur. The one rocker that stands out from this pack is "Leather," a cheeky ode to sadomasochism built on a distinctive and powerful dual-guitar riff. Other highlights include "Against the Grain," a synthesizer-drenched power ballad that sports a memorable singalong chorus, and the title track, a steam and intense rocker that sports some of the album's most intricate guitar riffs and is further enhanced by the addition of congas on its instrumental breaks. Despite these occasional high points, Grab It for a Second is too faceless of an affair to win Golden Earring any new fans and is only recommended to the group's most fervent devotees.
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AllMusic Review by Donald A. Guarisco