01. Home Of The Brave 3:31
02. Georgia Song 3:24
03. Country Tune 2:46
04. Gossamer Wings 3:00
05. Our Lives Are Shaped By What We Love 3:36
06. Wondrous Castles 3:06
07. Battened Ships 2:59
08. Sunny California Wo-Man 3:33
09. Black Top Island (Of The West) 3:28
10. Broken Road 2:44
Acoustic Guitar, Guitar – Don Peake
Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Guitar [Slide] – Don Dacus
Bass [Fender], Bass – Warner (Doc) Schwebke
Drums – Gene Pello
Lead Vocals – Royce Jones
Piano, Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes], Vibraphone, Vocals – Kathleen Warren
Vocals – Billy Pierce
Mowest was Motown’saWest Coast label and I think it’d be fair to describe it as a general failure. It only lasted 2-3 years and few of the albums ever became commercial successes with the possible exception of Syreeta’s self-titled LP. Of the 10 or so LPs that actually came out on Mowest, Odyssey’s self-titled album has been a consistent “want” for soul collectors; I first heard it at a small DJ gig I did with Vinnie Esparza and I was a little surprised that a ’70s Motown-related release could regularly garner more than $100 on the market.
Then again, once you listen to its best songs, it makes more sense. Overall, Odyssey seemed like a uniquely, uber-California album for its era – a mix of everything from Topanga Valley psych folk rock to clunky funky rock but it’s hard to argue with the quality of the two songs above.
“Battened Ships” is a livelay, Latin-infused mid-tempo cooker that would work beautifully to bridge a DJ set into some proto-disco. I’m not in love with Billy Pierce’s lead vocals but add in the background vocals and it all comes together nicely.
And then there’s “Our Lives Are Shaped By What We Love,” a beautiful composition all around…real “lightning in a bottle” in terms of all the elements that could have just as easily gone south and don’t. Great, great hook too.