The time-frame in which this came out (late 1984) really was Hall & Oates at their peak. Perhaps not musically, but certainly this came out at the very high point of their career. They were on magazine covers, had their own HBO concert special ("The Liberty Concert" in 1985 - if you are a fan, check out the clips on Youtube). Some people have said that this album finds H&O "slipping" a bit, but I think it finds them in top form, and stands up next to just about anything they had done between 1980 and 1983.
This album is the natural progression of where their sound had been going since 1980's "Voices" and through 1982's "H2O" and through to 1983's "Say It Isn't So" and "Adult Education" -- namely a big beat, pop-dance-oriented sound. To add to the "big beat" sound Arthur Baker was brought in to remix the whole thing. (For those who don't know, Arthur Baker was one of the top remixers/dance-music producers of the 1980's, working with, among others, New Order).
The singles from this ("Out of Touch", "Method of Modern Love", Possession Obsession") are pretty representative of the sound of the album as a whole. Perhaps the one downfall of this album is that, bringing in someone to remix all of the tracks did result in a bit of a sameness of the overall sound and feel of the tracks. Also, as another reviewer stated, this thing is state-of-the-art 1984. That means it definitely sounds of its time. But, in my opinion, I have always really liked every song on this one. It's hardly high art, but it is solid mid-80's pop music.
If you are a casual fan looking to go a bit deeper with H&O than a hits compilation, then this one isn't for you (get "Abandoned Luncheonette" and "Voices" instead). But, if you are a more than just casual fan wondering if you should add this to your collection, I think you will be very happy with this one. In my opinion, I don't think there is a bad song on this album. A lot of 1980's "cheese" but, then again, that was really what the 1980's were about.
I can tell you the 2004 remaster is obviously far better than the original pressing LP and cassette versions of this thing that I had in the 1980's. But, I am not sure the 2004 remaster is that much ahead of the 1996 version (which I also owned). I would recommend the 2004 remaster because it does have the original lyrics/liner notes, and some bonus tracks, including the remix of "Out of Touch" that was included on the original 1984 cassette (the 1996 version has neither).
As for the songs, if you like "Out of Touch" and "Method of Modern Love" then you will like this album.
2013 UPDATE -- I really cannot recommend the 2004 remaster anymore. Quite frankly, I think it's terrible (NOT the album proper, but the 2004 remaster). Buy the original RCA Made in Japan CD, which sounds far superior. The music on this remaster is certainly "louder" but the tradeoff is that the music is clipped -- the crash of the cymbals, the curl of the bass, all those things that make for a great listening experience, are lost in exchange for a CD that doesn't require the volume to be turned up quite as loud. The original RCA Made in Japan CD has far more detail to the music. You can probably find it pretty cheap on eBay or a local used store. Buy this for the bonus tracks; get the original RCA if you want to hear this album in all its glory.