Perhaps the most telling tune on Shoulda Been Home is the T-Bone Walker-influenced "Renew Blues," not because of the style, but because the slow blues fades out after just one tiny minute. By contrast, the mellow soul sway of "Out of Eden" stretches out to over nine minutes. Robert Cray has been heralded as a savior of modern blues, but the truth is Cray's music is much closer to the vintage soul of O.V. Wright and Otis Redding than the 12-bar form of B.B. King or Albert King. Granted, his punctuating Stratocaster guitar riffs borrow from the books of all the blues masters, but his songwriting and arranging don't. Often backed by arpeggiated guitar chords, Cray's vocals are front and center here, passionately leaning into these predominantly slow or mid-tempo tunes. By contrast, only a couple of cuts are upbeat enough to really get the knees a-shakin'. The infectious opening cut "Baby's Arms" – the best tune on the record – could have been a hit single for Stax Records, and Sir Mack Rice's upbeat "Love Sickness" was a hit for Stax Records. Meanwhile, "Help Me Forget," with its mellow, candlelight mood, could have been a hit for Barry White.
This album features the artistry of one if Japan's top pianist's. When asked about the title of this album, Tsuyoshi Yamamoto had this to say: "I wrote this piece especially for this album and dedicated it to Winston Ma, the producer. I asked Winston to name the song. After hearing the song, Winston said he was reminded of the emotions he felt when he first saw the skyline of Seattle during an Autumn visit to the city some years go." Hence the name. Let Tsuyoshi lead you to a warm and romantic dreamland through his enchanting piano performances.
The Scorpions' two previous releases, Blackout and Love at First Sting, were mostly successful due to the band's ability to adjust with the times; with Blackout, they used the classic power rock introduced by bands like Van Halen, and for Sting they used similar melodies, but with a harder, tighter sound akin to the work of such bands as Dokken and REO Speedwagon. With Savage Amusement, the group's first studio recording in almost four years, the Scorpions experimented with more polished pop melodies that Def Leppard and the like had made popular. The end result is polished and often predictable music that, while good, on the whole fails to be as infectious as the music on their previous albums. Die-hard fans will certainly find their share of worthwhile songs, such as "Don't Stop at the Top" and "Believe in Love," but they still may find Savage Amusement to be incomparable to its predecessors.~ Barry Weber (All Music Guide)