Shalamar's debut album Uptown Festival is a dated set of shamelessly pandering disco that became a hit on the basis of the title track, a clever medley of old Motown hits. "Uptown Festival" -- and its less-successful followup, a cover of Smokey Robinson's "Ooh Baby Baby" -- were hits simply because they grafted a familiar melody to a disco beat, not because they represented any innovation. The remainder of Uptown Festival suffers from a similar fate. Shalamar sing as if the lyrics met something, but the music on the record is so stilted, the album sounds lifeless. Occasionally, such as the opening cut "Inky Dinky Wang Dang Doo," the music is kitschy fun, but more often than not, it is simply an artifact of its times.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine