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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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Mr. Mustard
5 stars While their past few albums had progressive aspects to them, Romantic Warrior takes it to a new level with a more refined sound. Jazz elements are still strong, and add an easygoing, yet harsh feel. The musicianship is wild, but there isn't as much noodling as you would expect (but there still is a lot), instead these guys lay out their sections more carefully first and solo appropriately second.

The album opens with 'Medieval Overture,' which as the name implies contains a number of moods and motifs that are developed in later songs. The tune goes from cheery and upbeat to slightly melancholic, but always has an intensity and complexity to it that I always find similar to Gentle Giant in parts.

'Sorceress' is probably the closest to pure jazz they get on the album. The groove is undeniably strong on this one, thanks to the funky bass and guitar. Corea also lays down some dreamy keys at times to give a laidback mood.

The title track is a very technically adventurous song, but consequently the weakest. There are a few good ideas here, but a whole lot more noodling and repetition. It takes a while to get moving, but when it does there is plenty of energy and groove to be had.

'Majestic Dance' is a whole lot of fun with its upbeat and cheery medieval atmosphere throughout. Directly contrasts this with its rather haunting opening, but eventually segues into some jovial keyboard parts.

'Duel of the Jester and the Tyrant' is a true prog-lovers song. There are many dynamic changes and a constant stream of epic melodies to keep the listener interested. The mood and tempo changes between the rocking parts and soft jazzy parts are numerous as well to make this tune very structurally complex.

Romantic Warrior is simply put the strongest jazz-rock album out there. But this should please both jazz fans and prog fans alike, as it truly is the best of both worlds.


Mr. Mustard | 5/5 |


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