Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Stoned Soul Picnic
Genres: Pop, R&B, Rock, Broadway & Vocalists
Listen to Samples
The "California Soul" of 5D
J. Collins | 04/20/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Of the five original 5D albums that Buddha/Arista are re-releasing, this is the one I've been anticipating with the most eagerness. The album marks the departure of the group from their All-Pop format, toward more soulful and searching material.Of course, the songs by Laura Nyro are the best example of this adventurous material...the title hit and "Sweet Blindness" sound glorious in this all-digital recording. But that's just the beginning...there are great songs contributed by Jeff Comanor ("The Sailboat Song" features Ron Townson in a graceful solo), Ashford & Simpson ("California Soul"), and even Jimmy Webb pops in for the decidedly groovy "The Eleventh Song."There are still some wonderful Pop songs here..."Broken Wing Bird" features Billy in an ode to recovery, and on "Bobbies Blues" Billy and Marilyn join voices for a haunting and melancholy performance. The bonus track, "East of Java", is a terrific bonus: the song has a vague tropical lilt that demonstrates the vocal precision of the group, without overpowering the somewhat fragile structure of the song.This digital recording sounds a bit better than those for "Up Up..." and "Magic Garden," with fewer dropouts and uniform highs. Given that the master tapes have sat in a vault, largely untouched for over thirty years, the overall sound of these reissues is exceptional. And since it's unlikely that they will stay in print for long, I'd suggest you get your copy ASAP.-Mic"
Arguably, the 5th's best album
Monday Monday | Tampa, FL | 10/05/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Of the 11 songs on this album, 9 could be either A-side or B-side singles: 8 were, including the entire first side of the album! Only 'it's a great life' and 'the eleventh song' are 'skip-over-them' album tracks. In fact, if you were to replace those two songs with the similar-sounding-to-the-rest-of-the-album 'On the Beach in the Summertime' (which appears on the CD version of 'Portrait', and did not appear on any album originally), you'd have a PERFECT 5th Dimension album. The singles 'Stoned Soul Picnic', 'Sweet Blindness' and 'California Soul' all made the Top 40, and 'Picnic' became the 5th's biggest soul single chart success, eclipsing even the juggernaut single 'Aquarius' from the next album. But the other songs are also stellar examples of the 5th's California Soul sound; 'It'll Never Be The Same Again' was so good, it became a b-side TWICE; Billy Davis' plaintive, sincere delivery of both this and 'Broken Wing Bird' is stirring. 'Good News', an Addrisi-brothers composition, is a pop celebration. 'The Sailboat Song' and 'Bobbie's Blues' are smooth Sunday Brunch jazz entries. 'Lovin' Stew' is a driving pop recording, with Florence Larue sharing lead.
As commented on by another reviewer, this album really is a turning point for the 5th, and defines their five-part harmony talent. They are one of pop music's most underappreciated bands, without an E! true hollywood story of VH-1's Behind the Music to their credit. Buy this album, and enjoy the California Soul that is the 5th Dimension."
A slight departure
firstname.lastname@example.org | Northern California, USA | 07/25/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For their third album, The Fifth Dimension made a bit of a departure from their previous two "conceptional pop" albums, having more of a commercial feel to it. The album spawned the hit singles "Sweet Blindness", "California Soul" and "Stoned Soul Picnic" and also features many other fine moments.Most notable of the album tracks is "The Sailboat Song" which is beautiful in it's simplicity. The flow of the chord changes and vocal harmony add for a definite "take you away" feel. This song is probably one of my favorites right up there with "Never Gonna Be The Same" from 'Up Up And Away' and "The Magic Garden" from 'The Magic Garden'. Other notable mentions are the ballads "Broken Wing Bird", and "Bobbie's Blues"; the funky "Lovin' Stew", and Billy's triumphant "It'll Never Be The Same Again"."