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Return To Forever - Hymn Of The Seventh Galaxy CD (album) cover


Return To Forever


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.19 | 296 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars And on we go.

Another musical journey lead by Chick Corea and his RTF band mates, Clarke on Bass duties, Connors on Guitars and White on drums & percussions. And what marvelous musicians they all are.

This album is an attack on the ears of the listener, delivering dynamic, relentless pieces of music, with complex, over the top drumming, guitar improvisations and very good keyboard playing. You are perpetually bombarded with these instrumental pieces of music, which do not seem to let go of their initial energy and keep on rocking all through the album. I suggest you listen hard to the bass on this album, since all other instruments are easy to figure out.

The different tracks do not lose identity and do not blend into one another. Each track is distinguished from the others by the main tune. The improvisations around only strengthen the impact of every tune.

They begin with the title track, a nice short tune to get things warmed up. This track allows each to show his abilities. The drums are everywhere on this one, the bass is very good as well, and the harpsichord gives it the final touch of softness that contradicts the slightly crude guitar sound. Then we move to the time "After the cosmic rain", which has this spacey, jazzy feeling to it. Here again, White is all over the place with his drums. The organ plays a very important supporting role here, and completes the guitar part very well. After contemplating about the main tune they go over to some improvisations a little bit with the guitar experimenting with sounds. This starts slowly and with what seems to be a hesitant guitarist, but then things get more dynamic and complex until the return to the original tune. Captain Senor Mouse is Corea's time to show his improvisation skills with the keyboards (harpsichord) and Clarke's bass playing abilities. At the end of this track Connors returns and shows his guitar playing in case we have forgotten it. Theme to mothership is another show of power by Connors and Clarke. This is perhaps the weakest track, focusing mainly on improvisations without much more than that, but the musicianship alone is worth listening to. Space Circus pt. 1 starts with mellow sounding keyboards, which is a bit of a surprise, since you would expect more of the insanity to go on. But this is a good brief time-out from this energetic creation. Then comes in part 2 with its groovy rhythm and starts in a more calm way that previous tracks, but it slowly develops as the guitar gains strength. The bass here is, again, very good. This one is less improvisation- focused and more inclined to give us a groovy mood music that is repetitive but not tedious at all. The album closes with The game maker. Again we receive a calm opening with Corea playing softly while the acoustic guitar gently gives him the basis for going on. Then there is a fade in of the drums and the electric guitar comes in with the bass. They play for a bit, the guitar improvising a bit while the keyboards and the bass give it the basis. Then comes the part where everyone just bursts out and give their best playing. Devote time to figure out the bass paying here, it is worth it. The interplay between the keyboards and the guitar at the end is excellent and they finally join forces to give us a more powerful impression.

There is no single track that I can point out as the best here, since they all are very good and stand out. While you can remember clearly each tune and not be confused with what you heard, the different compositions blend perfectly with each other in terms of atmosphere and sound of the music. So we had here some great jazz, funky and rock music, excellent musicianship and show of hands. While Romantic Warrior is a great album that gets many accolades, one should not overlook this record. This is a good and solid album, which deserves its place in a prog cd collection. 4 stars.

avestin | 4/5 |


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