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Return To Forever - No Mystery CD (album) cover


Return To Forever


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.77 | 143 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Uninspired, Typical Funky Fusion

I picked up NO MYSTERY during a fusion glut, hoping to find a companion to the wonderful ROMANTIC WARRIOR. No such luck. While this album has the same lineup, it lacks the vision, intent, and ambition of its followup. While there are glimpses of the heights this monster outfit is capable of, there are also long stretches of pretty non-descript funktified fusion that is a bit dated but more importantly not that emotionally evocative.

There are a few little sections that stick with me, including the ELP / neo-classicalh intro to "From the First Movement of Heavy Metal." The introductory theme to the "Celebration Suite" is also pretty memorable but both then descend into relatively generic funk jams. My favorite song is the more laid-back title tune which is more jazz than rock. Al Dimeola is relegated to clean comping much of the time, though he does get a few McClaughlin derived lead spots.

White and Clarke are slippery and fun, though this is far from their shining moment. Clarke is obviously one of the masters of this style, and he keeps up his end of the bargain here. White is also energetic, but fusion has so many masters of the drumkit that the bar is quite high. Unlike ROMANTIC WARRIOR, this album is clearly first and foremost Corea's. And while he is a great player, the lack of balance deters from the quality of the album.

Bottom line: Solid enough for RTF fans, but for more casual fans of fusion, this should probably be a late acquisition. 2.5 rounded toward the mean.

Negoba | 3/5 |


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