CHICAGO - Now (Review)

Mon
21
Jul
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section name: 
BOTTOM LINE
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The album walks a thin line between uptempo Westcoast pop and sultry jazz-infused ballads, all delivered with the sickly sweet harmony vocals expected from a band with 6 or 7 vocalists at work.
 
Good for fans of the band's earlier incarntions, beyond fluffy for those looking for the more recently used style.
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SCORE
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83%
Produced By: 
Chcago
Release Date: 
2014
Released: 
Worldwide
Musical Style: 
Westcoast/Pop
Label: 
Frontiers Records
Artist: 
Monday, July 21, 2014
Categories: 
Chicago is the second iconic group to have a new release out in the same month of the same year (Yes being the other) from the same label. Much like the Yes album, appeal will squarely lay with longtime established fans over curious newcomers or part-time fans.
 
I count myself as a part-timer when it comes to Chicago. I loved the band’s edgier moments like the last studio album in 2006 (XXX) and the fabulous long kept under wraps Stone Of Sisyphus album, plus their more commercial moments such as the 80s friendly Chicago 16 through 21 albums. Some great AOR material on offer there.
 
When the band revert to their core 70s style, bring out the jazzy Westcoast sound and push their legendary brass section into a more prominent role, I find my finger reaching for the skip button.
Chicago 36, or “Now” as it is dually titled, offers some moments of melodic rock brilliance and some snappy arrangements and impeccable playing without question.
It’s also beautifully produced by the band. But at times it speeds down Pink & Fluffy Boulevard and heads Southbound on the Middle Of The Road Freeway.
 
So be warned those seeking the more guitar driven sound of XXX – this ain’t it!
 
That said, if you like classic Chicago, you aren’t going to get a more authentic experience than “Now”. The jazzy pop material is as catchy as it is breezy and the sound is straight out of 1978.
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Score: 
83

Comments

Rating: 
74
Email: 
pgborden@hotmail.com

Some nice "easy listening" tunes from Chicago on this release.  In fairness, though, I wouldn't compare this to their earliest stuff.  Chicago made a name for themselves initially by showing that a band could have brass and still rock.  This is pure mellow.  Not bad, just not rock.  Personal favorites are the title track, Now, and the heartbreaking Love Lives On.

Rating: 
80

Totally agree with Pagrebo. Solid  Pop album