Opening with the driving title track, 40 Hour Week
encapsulates why Alabama
was the top country group of the '80s. Alternating between restrained rockers and well-crafted ballads, it captures the band at its peak. Nevertheless, it isn't quite as strong as their first albums -- the performances and production are a bit too mannered -- but its professionalism is appealing. And that professionalism made 40 Hour Week
the group's most popular album, as it crossed over into the pop Top Ten.