Fittingly for an album called Mumbo Jumbo, Air Supply do employ some smoke and mirrors on their 2010 album – perhaps more than any of their previous albums, dabbling with a variety of textures and rhythms. Although their touch remains decidedly light, this isn’t merely a collection of romantic ballads: it opens with the spooky prog pomp of “Setting the Seen”; “A Little Bit of Everything” pulsates with the clean sheen of the late ‘80s; they work up a fairly good head of steam on “Me Like You”; they get a little dirty on the slow groove of “Lovesex”; “Until” approaches the baroque; and even on something as soft as “A Little Bit More,” the acoustic guitars are unadorned in a way Air Supply never have tried. While none of the songs approach the skyscraping hooks of their soft rock classics, this isn’t the sound of a band resting on its laurels; if anything, this is one the group’s most adventurous records, which may also be why it’s one of Air Supply's best.
Air Supply is known worldwide for swooning the ladies off their feet. This time, Hitchcock and Russell are taking the festive route, recording some of the most beloved holiday classics of all time. The production standards and performances are polished and no less than what you'd expect from the duo, but of course this will not appeal to some. It's an easily accessible and enjoyable album for both casual listeners and die-hard fans of the group's output.
Greatest hits albums are a big thing for Air Supply. Their first, 1983's Greatest Hits, is their biggest seller in the United States, earning five platinum certifications within its first decade of release, after which it was continually replaced by collections both considered and sloppy. All of which is to say, Real Gone Music's 2016 The Columbia & Arista Years: The Definitive Collection has some stiff competitors for the title of definitive Air Supply compilation, but this physical rendition of the 2014 digital release The Essential Air Supply does offer an overview of the soft rock duo's prime that's thorough in a way its predecessors aren't. Much of this is due to sheer length: at 30 tracks and two CDs, it's nearly a third longer than the previous standard bearer, 2003's Ultimate Air Supply (and it doesn't replicate all of that disc's songs, either, cutting away four tracks most fans won't miss).
Until Arista released The Definitive Collection in August 1999, 1988's Greatest Hits stood as the ultimate Air Supply compilation. It's easy to see why. Eleven of the group's big hits are here: "Lost in Love", "All Out of Love", "Every Woman in the World", "The One That You Love", "Here I Am", "Sweet Dreams", "Even the Nights Are Better", and "Making Love Out of Nothing at All". That's all that most Air Supply fans need, at least casual fans, but even the hardcore followers are sure to like having such a concentrated dose of hits in one package. Yes, The Definitive Collection remains more comprehensive, but for anyone who just wants the hits, with no excess fat, Greatest Hits is the right choice.