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muzikman






PostPosted: 31 Mar 2006 09:28    Post subject: Chicago XXX Reply with quote

Artist: Chicago
Title: XXX
Genre: Rock-Pop-Jazz
Label: Rhino
Website

Chicago is the product of consistency and keeping key core members in the band for the
last 37 years. XXX is their 30th studio recording and a total demonstration of their
wherewithal and greatness as a thriving unit. I am the first to say I enjoyed their older
material, the first five albums where incredibly good. Over the years, they have changed
members and their style but what you hear is indisputably Chicago. The reasons for their
success are many and probably the most important factor that contributes to that ongoing
success is that they have managed to keep that base sound intact. The all-important horns
are always there and the leadership of long time members like Robert Lamm, Walt
Parazaider, James Pankow, Lee Loughnane, and Bill Champlin, serve as the guiding light of
this modern day musical marvel. The vocals have sounded pretty much the same since Peter
Cetera was at the helm. The have managed to find clones of his vocal style, thus making
any of the changes seamless and smooth to the music buying public. To say they have been a
commercial success is an understatement.

There are 13 tracks on this CD and they all have the potential to be a hit singleno
surprise there. Their output is comparative to The Beatles; every time they put an album
out, they fill it with great and memorable songs. I cannot think of one band that is still
actively recording that can do that. That is what makes Chicago so special. The first time
I heard the album I thought it was a bit too pop oriented for my liking, and then as I
gave it successive spins it gradually grew on me. The realization that this band had done
it again hit me square between the eyes. The driving pop rhythms of love and loss are
here, the great rhythm section, horns, fantastic vocals-all in place lined up like a
well-practiced platoon with its marching orders. This recording is one that all the band
members should be proud to add to the Chicago legacy.

The tracks that had me singing in no time were "King of Might Have Been," "Caroline," and
the made for hit single "90 Degrees and Freezing." This is a sure bet to be a chart
topper, its archetypal Chicago and it reminded of the band in their prime. Sure, I still
like the risqu progressive Chicago that played those immortal dates at Carnegie Hall, but
this version of the band is very good and as I said before, who else is making music like
this? This is quality music, the lyrics are not offensive or negative, nor do they promote
violence or drug abuse, know how much trash is out there today selling by the truckload
that offers all of that?...A little too much as far as I am concerned. The jazz purists
will complain as usual and the old time fans may say it has too much syrupy pop for their
gullets, but you know what? Its one of the best albums I have heard this year and the
musicianship is simply outstanding. Listen to it a few times, I guarantee you will be
hooked, even if you do not like it the first time just like me. Yes, it is very much
mainstream and easy listening but is so very good!

Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

March 30, 2006

01. Feel Daly (4:01)
02. King of Might Have Been (3:52)
03. Caroline (3:39)
04. Why Can't We (4:07)
05. Love Will Come Back (3:4icon_cool.gif
06. Long Lost Friend (4:33)
07. 90 Degrees and Freezing (3:52)
08. Where Were You (4:17)
09. Already Gone (6:51)
10. Come to Me (4:36)
11. Lovin' Chains (3:56)
12. Better (4:41)
13. Feel Daly (4:30)

Credits:

Robert Lamm: piano, Wurlitzer, Hammond organ, vocals
Lee Loughnane; trumpet, flugelhorn, piccolo trumpet
James Pankow: trombone
Walt Parazaider: saxophones, flutes
Bill Champlin: Hammond organ, piano, Fender Rhodes, vocals
Jason Scheff: bass, vocals
Tris Imbodden: drums
Keith Howland: guitar




Chicago Website




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