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Return To Forever - Light As A Feather CD (album) cover


Return To Forever


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.42 | 168 ratings

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2 stars What we've got here is failure to...progress.

After a solid and innovative debut, Return to Forever take a step backward. I suppose this could still be considered progressive jazz, but in many places it sound much more like some jazzy lounge music. Suffice it to say, I'm glad that they (meaning Corea primarily) decided to change gears in later albums, because this album was moving away from allowing them full display of their talents.

You're Everything, Captain Marvel, Children's Song. The opener is probably the worst song on the album--relatively simple lounge music and formulaic, Purim on vocals just doesn't have the ability to carry the song by herself. Captain Marvel is still formulaic, but it's more uptempo, and if you listen carefully, there's some very nice interplay between the bass and keys to be heard, as well as energetic drumming. Children's Song is a plodding instrumental with some nice bass, but that's about it.

Light as a Feather, 500 Miles High, Spain. These are the extended pieces, and they all follow a similar strategy: the forgettable vocals of Purim to begin and end the songs, with some nice extended grooving in between. The title track and 500 Miles High are virtually indistinguishable to my ears: subpar melodies, and jams with dynamics changes and plenty of flute, bass and sax solos strewn about. Spain is the best of the bunch, mostly because the main melody is actually engaging, but also because the middle jam isn't overextended either.

This is certainly not bad music, but it just fails to hold my attention in many places. These guys have talent, but they are holding back a bit (especially Corea), probably because the songs are more vocal oriented. Fortunately, that would change in later albums, with some unforgettably explosive results!

Flucktrot | 2/5 |


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