The early '80s were a confusing time for many a jazz musician. The temptation to dabble in such waters as disco, funk, and rock was a risky proposition: pull it off and you were a genius, fail and you were the laughing stock of the industry. Falling somewhere in the large grey area between those two poles, the Brecker Brothers started the decade with Straphangin', a seven-song excursion into all sorts of fusion and AOR-like territories. No doubt taking sonic cues from Spyro Gyra and Steely Dan, the guys open the album with the mellow title track and the equally suggestive "Threesome" before stepping things up with the highly percussive "Bathsheba." "Why Can't I Be There" could easily find its way onto the playlist of a soft rock fan, but on the whole Straphangin' is a mixed blessing. Not the best album they ever put out, but certainly far from their worst.
AllMusic Review by Rob Theakston