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Chicago - Chicago V CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.35 | 94 ratings

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Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
4 stars When the term 'Prog' is mentioned, most folks will never recall Brass-Rockers CHICAGO within that great genre of music. I have to admit that, no longer than 18 months ago, I was one of those (ignorant) detractors of the band. Since then, these guys have impressed me quite a bit, and that's on the level of high quality musicianship/instrumentation, composition, production values (which eventually became over-polished in the 80's...) and proficiency of the vocals. This fifth release, and if I could mention here - it's easier to speak of Chicago than it is to say, of, Univers Zero (just to pick an extreme comparison, as I admire both bands equally) contains some more complex arrangements as well as some of those M.O.R. things the band opted for. Overall, the songs throughout the record should present an engaging and interesting listening for many, with their trademark wind-section in place along with some great guitar work, bass and drumming. Keyboarder Robert Lamm ( Piano, E- Piano and Hammond) is a competent player, but never really goes it solo. Displaying an interest of composer Varese, the opening number by Lamm - 'A Hit By Varese' - offers a tight performance from all, including a rather avant-garde trade-off between the sax, trumpet and trombone for several bars, and shows off the technical abilities of all concerned. 'All Is Well' combines their musical talents within an A.O.R. framework. Good song without a doubt - nice Bass. 'Now That You're Gone' features some odd rhythms and a slightly 'darker' riff at times. Soulful lead vocals from Kath. Dialogue (I & II) is a longer piece (7.10) showing off a repetitive pattern with alternate vocals between guitarist Terry Kath and Bassist Peter Cetera. During the 2nd part, Kath gets to shine with some fiery lead-guitaring atop a rather funky backing. Flipside, 'While the City Sleeps', opens with wind noises and some great wah-wah Bass and a main riff in 7/8. Hit single 'Saturday In The Park' follows next - melodic and memorable. 'State of the Union' is a funky tune which works well during its course but doesn't really change much. 'Goodbye' is a more favourable tune that is extremely Jazz-oriented with another main riff in '7' and really shows off Cetera's considerable skills on the Bass along with his fine vocals, and some tasty keyboard work in the background from Lamm - amazing tune, and the closer 'Alma Mater' is a frad boring and disappointing. Words can only say so much, and this is something of a 'mainstream' album, but I find its contents should be an appealing introduction for many.
Tom Ozric | 4/5 |


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