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Chicago - Chicago V CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.30 | 81 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Chicago's first single LP in their history, and this is their fifth. So, one is led to believe that Chicago weeded through and short-circuited any filler material, giving us a more focused album. Yet, the irony here is that it SOUNDS like there's more filler material here than on the earlier Chicago records, or at least the ones I've heard. I skipped over the third album for some reason (with the fourth being a live album of studio cuts, I passed on that one also) and acquired CHICAGO V which took a digger in my opinion of Chicago.

The classic Chicago sound kicks off the album in the opening ''A Hit For Varese''; it includes bass swoops and Paradizer, Pankow and Loughnane trading solos with each other. Fun stuff. The ''Dialogue'' tracks are very good, poppy as they are. The first part has some interesting vocal trade-offs from Kath and Cetera, but the mostly instrumental second half is more of interest mostly because of the odd rhythm (nineteen if you really want the number).

That's about it for highlights, sad to say. ''All Is Well'' and ''Saturday in the Park'' are pretty syrupy AOR tunes that are better listened to with a mute option handy. Even worse is the horrible attempt at pop-funk in ''State of the Union''; it's pretty bad when I say I prefer ''Free Form Guitar''. The rest are forgettable and get lost considering the tunes they chucked out on earlier albums. Interestingly, one of the bonus tracks, ''Mississippi Delta Blues'', is a nice shuffle- blues tune that could have beefed up the album's quality.

CHICAGO V pales in comparison to the first couple of albums in the band's discography. The band seems more eager to try simple pop approaches, and while their trademark fusion sound is still here, it's largely subsidised. One to avoid unless your love of Chicago is unconditional.

Sinusoid | 2/5 |


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