Hang Together

by: Odyssey

It would be wrong to think of Odyssey as one-hit wonders because "Native New Yorker" wasn't the trio's only hit; Odyssey also climbed the R&B charts with "Don't Tell Me, Tell Her" in 1980 and "Inside Out" in 1982. Nonetheless, Odyssey didn't have a lot of blockbusters, and the New York group wasn't nearly as big as it could have been. Nor were Odyssey as consistent as they could have been; Hang Together, the group's third album, has more pluses than minuses but is still uneven. The more memorable songs on this 1980 LP range from the sleek "Don't Tell Me, Tell Her" to the ballad "If You're Looking for a Way Out" and the funky, Labelle-ish "Rooster Loose in the Barnyard." Meanwhile, the catchy "Down Boy" finds Odyssey experimenting with rock elements, which was a rarity for the New Yorkers. Overall, this is a decent record, but it isn't a great one -- and Odyssey were quite capable of being consistently excellent instead of merely adequate. Listening to Hang Together is a lot like seeing a student with above average intelligence bringing home a report card with B's and C's; those B's and C's are preferable to D's and F's, but they're still disappointing when you know that the kid is capable of bringing home straight A's. ~ Alex Henderson

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