Actually, I give it Three and a Half Stars!
Reginald D. Garrard | Camilla, GA USA | 06/30/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If the group had not been labeled "a disco band", The Salsoul Orchestra may have had a longer "shelf life". Like Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra, the ensemble was a group of highly skilled musicians that just happened to be associated with the carefree days of Studio 54, platform shoes, and the hustle.
"Magic Journey" did not sell well because of the diversity of the selections offered. The band was just trying to show that it could do more than disco. The collection of songs here is varied, featuring the typical music of the era to tracks suitable for a concert hall. Examples of the former are: "It's a New Day", "Run Away" (a disco gem with leads vocals from diva Loleatta Holloway), and a dead-on-the-money interpretation of Earth, Wind, & Fire's "Fantasy". On the classical side, there is a wonderful medley paying homage to the '76 Olympics. Also, "Alpha Centuri" possesses a similar sound as exhibited by T.S.O.P., another group of musicians responsible for backing the likes of The O'Jays and Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes.
The group gets into a playful mood with re-workings of two popular classics, "Guantanamera" and "Short Shorts". Inasmuch as music, like much of popular culture, goes in cycles, maybe The Salsoul Orchestra, in some form or another, will rise, as the phoenix, from the abyss of obscurity. Until that time, I'll just pull out the vinyl and wax nostalgic."