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Return To Forever - Hymn Of The Seventh Galaxy CD (album) cover


Return To Forever


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.18 | 316 ratings

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4 stars Return To Forever is one of the three prominent Jazz Rock/Fusion bands that were spawned from musicians that collaborated with Miles Davis. Even though it took this band longer than both Weather Report and Mahavishnu Orchestra to perfect their formula, Return To Forever kick-started their true Fusion career with the release of Hymn Of The Seventh Galaxy.

While the first two albums were heavily influenced by Latin sound most of those ideas have now been replaced by top-notch Jazz-Rock material. Unfortunately this was also the last album to feature Bill Connors' subtle but highly creative guitar work. I seem to be in a minority when I say that Al Di Meola is a highly overrated musician and , for once, it is nice to see the band give an equal opportunity to all of its members instead of filling the record with guitar dominated sounds.

The band gives a great performance here even though some of the material could have been polished even more. For instance, the lengthy jam on Theme To The Mothership doesn't offer me much excitement and instead drags on for much longer than it should have. On the opposite side of things we have excellent material like the opening title track that instead should have been expanded to a a 5-7 minute mark since it is easily the catchiest piece of music offered here. The Latin music influences may not have been removed completely and we do get a few sections here and there like on the quirky Captain Seņor Mouse. Still those influences never overshadow the Fusion-dominated material, like it did on the first two albums, and instead manage to complement the music by creating just the right individuality for Return To Forever.

It took me quite a few spins to appreciate Hymn Of The Seventh Galaxy which might have a lot to do with my inability to fully gasp the greatness of Jazz music. But now that the material has finally settled in it reveled quite a few new shades of greatness. Still, if you are like me and don't like Jazz music all that much then I would rather recommend you listening to one of the band's more prominent titles like Romantic Warrior.

***** star songs: Hymn Of The Seventh Galaxy (3:31) Game Maker (6:46)

**** star songs: After The Cosmic Rain (8:25) Captain Seņor Mouse (9:01) Space Circus, Pt. 1 & Pt. 2 (5:42)

*** star songs: Theme To The Mothership (8:49)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |


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