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Chicago - Chicago XI CD (album) cover

CHICAGO XI

Chicago

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

2.92 | 37 ratings

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Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Since CHICAGO have been inducted into the Progressive Archives, I've become quite the fan. This release, Chicago XI, retains relative favour from most reviewers - it does contain some fine tracks, however, for my ears it's an almost business-to-be sort of album. Album opener, Mississippi Delta City Blues, is a killer tune that was performed as early as 1972, as evidenced on the rare and fantastic 'Live In Japan' double LP. A very decent start to this, mostly pedestrian album. The most Prog-related section on here would have to be the closing set of 3 songs ; a suite of sorts lasting over 9 minutes, kicking off under the title of 'The Inner Struggles Of a Man' - starting out in grand orchestrated fashion, moving through some dramatic and captivating themes, it offers plenty of emotional colour (reminding me of the wistfully orchestrated moments presented on SOFT MACHINE's 'Land of Cockayne' album) and evolves into a smooth and touching M.O.R. piece with a soulful lead vocal from guitarist Terry Kath. It really is a beautiful and engaging piece of music. 'Vote For Me' features some witty lyrics and grinding Hammond Organ from Robert Lamm. Elsewhere the songs don't really demonstrate the prowess of the band as musicians, rather as successful song-writers with mostly good taste, but veering on the side of blandness. The only chart success of the album goes to Pete Cetera's 'Baby, What A Big Surprise', which was nice but not something to write home about. Personally, I preferred 'If You Leave Me Now'........ 2 stars.
Tom Ozric | 2/5 |

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