by: Odyssey

Odyssey is best remembered for its 1977 disco smash "Native New Yorker," an exuberant gem that brilliantly captures the love/hate feelings New Yorkers have for their city. But those who heard that single on the radio and acquired Odyssey's self-titled debut album in the hope of hearing a lot of similar songs received a major surprise -- "Native New Yorker" isn't typical of the LP on the whole. For the most part, Odyssey favors laid-back, gentle soul-pop with a subtle Caribbean flavor and occasional hints of jazz. Naturally, some of the people who expected Odyssey to be one big disco party were disappointed, but those who could accept the album for what it was realized that album tracks like "Weekend Lover," "Golden Hands," and "Ever Lovin' Sam" had a lot of charm. And the New York trio deserves credit for being unorthodox; in 1977, not many R&B groups were incorporating Caribbean elements. One of Odyssey's more consistent albums, this 1977 debut isn't great for dancing (except for "Native New Yorker," of course), but is always great for listening. [In 2010 the album was reissued in a deluxe package that included new liner notes and remixes of "Native New Yorker" and "Weekend Lover." ] ~ Alex Henderson

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