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Chicago - Chicago VI CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

2.61 | 89 ratings

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Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
3 stars CHICAGO are a band I've been recently turned on to. After initial astonishment as to why they have been included here in the Prog Archives I've taken the plunge and discovered their 70's and early 80's back-catalogue, and how wrong have I been........for years. This, their sixth album, appears to contain their weakest work up to this point, but still offers some excellent songs and fine playing from all. I'm particularly surprised at the melodicism of Peter Cetera's Bass playing (being a try-hard Bassist myself), the fine, accurate musicianship of the others, including tight arrangements concerning the Horn players. They really did forge a successful formula of Jazzy Brass-rock that took the world by storm. Now, the music here is rather simplified to what came before (and the next, near masterpiece VII), but contains some really special moments which I can whole-heartedly say are worthy of investigation. The album opener, 'Critic's Choice', features just keyboardist Robert Lamm on piano and voice, and sounds like (to me, anyway) something Robert Wyatt wouldn't dis-own. Beautiful chords and key changes here. The smash seller is up next, 'Just You 'n' Me' - what I find to be one of the most perfectly written songs. Ever. It has melody, great musicianship, beautiful vocals and harmonies, and inventive twists and turns, including an instrumental passage not far away from some of SOFT MACHINE's adventurous jams, some clever time signatures and falls together in a most effective way and in under 4 minutes. Great song. Elsewhere, we have some country flavoured pieces (Darlin' Dear and In Terms of Two - not that engaging for many of us), some funky, jammy work-outs with 'What's This World Coming To' and 'Rediscovery' (which sound a bit ahead of their time) and most other tunes have something interesting to offer, whether it's a composition featuring clever use of odd-time sigs (Hollywood), or intelligent vocal harmonies and tasteful melodies (Something in This City...) or even a Hendrix- inspired ballad such as guitarist Terry Kath's 'Jenny'. This may not be a classic example of Jazz-Rock, but it's a really good listen for the most part. CHICAGO do rock (somewhat Progressively, too).
Tom Ozric | 3/5 |


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