Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Return To Forever - Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy CD (album) cover


Return To Forever


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.20 | 380 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars #47th Review

Once i heard the tragic and unexpected passing of Chick Corea i knew that i had to review this album, it features the first Jazz Fusion i ever heard and still love to this day. One sad thing is that i kept pushing away this review and thus pushing listening to Return to Forever further and further, i really wanted to listen to Romantic Warrior on 2020 and didn't. I feel bad for not paying atention to Chick sooner, he was very active on his Youtube channel wich i would've followed instantly, yet he left some last words, probably at a very important moment of my life, "It is my hope that those who have an inkling to play, write, perform or otherwise, do so. If not for yourself then for the rest of us. It's not only that the world needs more artists, it's also just a lot of fun." Even in his last moments, he said a word that's very important but very overlooked in this adult life... fun.

1. Hymn Of The Seventh Galaxy 5/10 This track doesn't make justice to the rest of the album, its kind of catchy, repeats that same rythm almost through the entire song while also showcasing a little of the band members talents. I really like some of the time changes here, specially at the end, but i have to be real here, this song is like a free trial of some variety cookies, and this one is the most basic of the bunch, still has some special flavor to it, but not enough to make you care that much about the other cookies, but if you buy the cookies you'll realize they're amazing and that the other cookie didn't do it enough justice.

2. After The Cosmic Rain 6/10 The beginning can be very repetitive and kind of a funky mess, the chords also don't impress me much, there are many small changes through out, and this band is really good at doing those, they where really doing a more laid back track but in that process it seems that they added some very uninteresting motifs instead of putting their best here, the track that mostly needed them, Chick does the better work here, but even then, his work feels kind of restrained because of the limitations in the song, at first, Chick shows that no track is simpler enough for him to not let it go and make it his own.

So, in the end this track is ok, but not satisfactory, i hardly hear the potential at the beginning and even then this track doesn't go as crazy or atmospheric as others here in this same album.

3. Captain Seņor Mouse 8/10 This is fast, gives me this tarantella vibe at beginning only to confirm latin inspiration at the 1:48 mark, but being much better than that because the song doesn't conform with just doing that and adds, and goes back, is fantastic, i think that people in my family might get a kick out of this.

Everything here has an erratic play, including the keyboard, just listening to it makes me feel for my fingers, i'm thinking on some techniques but either way this is hard to play in all fronts... this album is hard but this song should definitely be the hardest one.

I feel like at the end the song lost the point a little bit, and the guitar solo doesn't convince me much here, in other tracks i don't mind it as it is doing ok, it could do better but here i just hear it and it really just doesn't move me.

4. Theme To The Mothership 6/10 Again, a more basic rythm an premise, much like the second track, but this one has better interesting intersections, i just wish the bass did play something else a little more different than just changing time signatures, it gives this sense of repetition and boredom rather quickly, its as if everyone else is fighting this, many times succesfully, specially for Chick, the section where Chick dominates is the best part of the track, as usual, but the rest is so repetitive, i can't give it a better score than the second track.

5. Space Circus 9/10 This is it, the first Jazz Fusion track i ever heard believe it or not, i think that it was in 2010 when i was 16... wow, idk why the teacher told me to listen to this, and i'm so happy he did, i really don't remember the context, yet i remember how i felt when i listened to it, that was what i wanted to listen, i was lost, it was hard for me to find music groups, i had no idea where to start, everywhere i started left me to a dead-end, while i didn't become a big fan of Return to Forever at first, i was still able to find a little more than with other bands.

Why this track then? The begining got me good, more than anything, that soothing, calm yet misterious sounding piano introduction, am i alone in this dark filled with dust place, the light of the windows looks like a simple geometric being with animation, i immediatily imagined this place and somehow felt welcomed... and that's just the first minute.

Then the song starts, and at first i remember really liking a certain repeating part for some reason, i still like that but its not as surprising as it once was, but still, very funky sounding and the instrumentals are an stapple on this record BUT, at the time i had never heard something like this, it was very effective for me back then and i still think it is, improv, return, improv, return, improv in the return, its all really cool, but what completely sells this theme in the end is the ending, because besides all the rythmic influenced playing the ending is just a perfect return to silence.

6. Game Maker 9/10 This introduction has an scary aproach, and the tension keeps growing without accelerating, just adding little by little, and there it goes, absolutely menacing, i don't understand why "game maker" but it certainly feels like you have to take down some entity that's causing havoc. This track gets a little repetitive at times, but when it lets go... IT LETS GO, everyone is incredible here but Chick... he clearly carries the song, i think that he is the game maker after all. I think that the real reason why i really like this song its because of its insane changes, you might get acoustom to some rythm but eventually that gets obliterated, and there are points where this track doesn't stop, i feel like there's no composition here where the author thought "this 17/12 part will be great here", no, instead he just did it, he probably didn't even realize or care, he just did it and i think that's what makes this song be so impressive.

In conclusion, i don't love this album, but i surely do love the tracks highlighted here, and i can't recommend those enough, i don't know if this is the best place to start with Return to Forever or Chick Corea, but it sure did it for me, so while not being the best, its still a place to start or to land and to admire. Long live Chick, he returned to forever, thanks for everything.

Final Score is 72/100 and i grant it 4 Stars because its an excellent addition, i would dare to say essential because the 3 tracks highlighted need to be heard.

FalconBleck | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this RETURN TO FOREVER review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.