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Chicago - The Chicago Transit Authority CD (album) cover

THE CHICAGO TRANSIT AUTHORITY

Chicago

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.06 | 191 ratings

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Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The sound of falling in love

Chicago Transit Authority is a hit or miss affair that marked the debut of a prolific and successful American band. It's an album with enough critical reviews, I'm simply going 100% personal on this one. There are two Chicagos present here which divide the album roughly in half. Beginning the album is the Chicago of the magnificent airy brass-rock, the Chicago of singles radio, and the Chicago harmonies and images I adore. Feelings of youth, of spring, of beginnings. Put simply, these great pop songs for me represent the sound of falling in love, literally. That was my experience. The beautiful girl I fell in love in love with was house-sitting when we were about 20, and I remember cranking Chicago hits (among others) in this huge 19th century city house with enough rooms to house a hockey team. We were going to Chicago's outdoor gig that summer and "getting ready for it" by playing their stuff, and I was crashing at this house with her (don't tell Mom.) We were cooking meals together and laughing hysterically, getting baked, having friends stop, strumming guitars, trying to keep the homeowner's pets alive, watching French films late into the night, and sleeping past noon. Forever those songs will represent that magical moment for me. Not that any of that helps you with this album, but like I said, this is a break from a typical review. Getting back to Chicago, the second two-thirds of the album falls apart, or at the least changes to something that fails to excite me. The breezy, dynamic pop/rock songs are traded for half-baked Rare Earth-ish jams and wannabe Hendrix guitar-gasms. It's *alright*, and I suppose if one were going to have some beers in the garage with the guys, you could do worse. But time just crawls as we hippie groove through stuff like "I'm a Man" and those extended pure-torture guitar noodlings. And then some excerpted protest clips thrown in there, ouch. It's kinda like the Dead. I so love their better originals, but when they start into the 15 minute bluesy/bar tune covers, I have to bail. So, a mixed bag for me, a fantastic beginning that fades mightily after the first third. Forgive me the diversion down memory lane. 2 stars.

Finnforest | 3/5 |

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