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Return To Forever - Music Magic CD (album) cover


Return To Forever


Jazz Rock/Fusion

2.85 | 108 ratings

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3 stars Musicmagic ? 1977 (2.8/5) 11 ? Best Song: Do You Ever

It's taken some time, but a band of maniacally skilled misfits such as this have finally drifted so far from their original, hotly inspired intentions and have delivered one of the words first, best instances of elevator music (unless Steely Dan beat them to it) It's also not as if this was ever far from their ideal to begin with. This type of music, while terribly inaccessible, is wholly inoffensive to me. They aren't pushing boundaries and my ears can only handle so much meandering wank-fests. At least the wank-fests on Light as a Feather had some spirit in them. They've distanced themselves from any distinct persona. It's been the same space jazz for the past few years now. I can't blame Meola, he was just riding along, butthis makes me look at Chick in a completely different light. Surely an album such as Musicmagic has influenced a host of groups into attempting the same jam-style. My problem is: where are the melodies? 'The Musician' is a formless series of solos, built on a sea of aimless brass.

All is not lost, however. There are two numbers that are under four minutes in length, and those are the best songs they've written since their first couple albums. I do love it when they're being concise. 'Hello Again' is softly mysterious. The cavernesque feel is back once more, and 'Do You Ever' is built around a subtle-yet-entrancing classical piano flourish. It might just be the greatest single thing the band 'wrote'. I've grown to be unable to withstand the extended suites, but they're still competent, and when te band sits down to do an actual 'song' it's something fantastical.

Alitare | 3/5 |


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