As the '70s expired, the palette and climate of the soft rock sound also made way for many of the electronic advancements of the '80s, with synthesizer presets and drum machines making their way to the forefront of many groups' sound (most likely in response to demands from overzealous record executives who insisted on keeping the bands "modern" and "futuristic"). This Wounded Bird two-fer compilation features Firefall entering the '80s in a very erratic, inconsistent creative mindset. The group reached its commercial plateau with Elan, and due to various reasons the old adage of "what goes up, must come down" was firmly entrenched throughout these two records. There really isn't anything on Undertow or Clouds Across the Sun that has the same resonance as "Just Remember I Love You" or "You Are the Woman." Instead, listeners found many of the group's key songwriters bitter, focusing on the darker side of heartbreak and relationships, and mimicking power pop trends ("Leave It Alone" and "I Don't Want to Hear It" are the chief culprits). All in all, not a bad set of sessions -- but the band had definitely seen better days.
AllMusic Review by Rob Theakston