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Return To Forever - Romantic Warrior CD (album) cover


Return To Forever


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.28 | 681 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Four months ago I reviewed "Hymn Of The Seventh Galaxy", "No Mystery" and "Where Have I Known You Before" all within about a week. When I came to this album I listened to it a couple of times and concluded that it wasn't nearly as good as the previous three records. Knowing how popular this album is I decided maybe I was burnt out on their music and needed a break, so here I am 4 months later, and guess what ? I still feel the same way. In fact I put on the other albums today as a comparison, and still feel this is for whatever reason my least favourite of those I already mentioned. Some of the reviewers here have described this album as being more Progressive, more Rock oriented or more Classical. All I know is that it doesn't excite me or leave me shaking my head from being so impressed like the previous three do.There's no accounting for taste right ? The keyboard sounds are part of the problem for me.

"Medieval Overture" opens with keys that sound ok I guess. Nice drumming 1 1/2 minutes in though, and I like the spacey synths before 2 minutes and the haunting vibe that follows.The tempo picks up and we get some nice bass after 3 minutes. Big finish. "Sorceress" has a funky rhythm as piano plays over top. DiMeola comes in and lights things up before 1 1/2 minutes as bass throbs. Lots of piano in this one. "The Romantic Warrior" opens with some good atmosphere as piano starts to tinkle and acoustic guitar comes and goes. Bass and drums come in around 3 1/2 minutes. I like the intricate guitar 5 1/2 minutes in. A lot going on 8 minutes in. It settles 10 minutes in. "Majestic Dance" opens with guitar which is more prominant on this track. The tempo shifts a lot on this song.

"The Magician" is not surprisingly Stanley Clarke's composition because he's all over it. I like when it settles and the guitar almost soars for a while. Not a fan of the keys that follow though.The guitar late is fantastic, so is the bass that ends it. "The Duel Of The Jester And The Tyrant (Part I & Part II)" is the longest track at 11 1/2 minutes.The tempo picks up a minute in but settles quickly again. I like the guitar 2 1/2 minutes in, DiMeola is so fast. The tempo continues to shift. Nice bass and drums before 7 minutes as guitar joins in. Blistering guitar before 9 minutes. Great track thanks to Al mostly.

Lots of excellent music to enjoy here, just not one of my favourite RETURN TO FOREVER albums that's all. I am blown away though when I focus on any one of these four amazing musicians (not so much Chick though), hence the rating of a low 4 stars.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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