Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Blue Magic: Blue Magic [Atco, 1974]
The best Stylistics album since Round Two is a Philly Phormalist's delight. Produced by Gamble-Huff veteran Norman Harris, it features the velvety falsetto of Ted White and four hit singles (only one of which, the Tod Browning tribute "Sideshow," has broken pop). What's more, the filler includes a seven-minute "Just Don't Want to Be Lonely" that helps me understand why Ronnie Dyson and the Main Ingredient both cut the song, though not why anybody bought it when they did. B+