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Chicago - Chicago III CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.60 | 121 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars The first two Chicago albums had some great jazz-rock teetering into pop territory that are recommended to the prog people into jazz. This Chicago album is different; III is only recommended to the fans of the first two albums and want another double album (now one CD) of satisfaction. I will focus each upcoming paragraph to a side of the original double vinyl.

Side One begins nice enough on a jam that we've come to expect from the band at this point, but lukewarm compared to earlier, fiery jams. The next ''Loneliness is Just a Word'' works as a pop tune, but then the torturous suffering begins with the other two tracks. Seriously, ''I Don't Want Your Money'' is probably the worst tune I've heard from the group thus far. I can compare this first side to THE WHITE ALBUM's first side, half very good, half I want to rip my hair out upon hearing.

The second side is entirely devoted to the ''Travel Suite'', but the suite is almost a misnomer. It's just six separate tracks without any relation or good segueing. ''Free'' and ''Free Country'' are both great in their respective jamming, but I almost feel a sense of cogwork here. The whole suite feels like it was make by Chicago-Lite, especially the opening ''Flight 602''.

Side Three is where everything picks up as ''Lowdown'', ''Mother'' and ''An Hour in the Shower'' (Kath should have trademarked that), three rock tunes with brass flair that are of the quality that the first two albums. ''Mother'' in particular is quite bouncy in the verses and very jazzy in the instrumental break.

The last side is dedicated to another suite, this one working better than ''Travel''. The first bit is a rarity in Chicago where Loughnane, Paradizer and Pankow play separate roles other than soloing, and also getting the band to function like a pocket orchestra. To some degree, they've succeeded. Add that to the beautiful cacophony in ''Progress?'' followed by more typical Chicago jamming, and we end on some high notes.

The whole of Chicago III is fragmented, disjointed and imbalanced. So many outside genre tags, references and experiments weigh down the album; had only a few more outside influences were included with building up the already strong jam quality they have, this would have been a more solid LP. History instead leaves us with a small mess that wouldn't be cleaned up until Chicago VII.

Sinusoid | 3/5 |


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