Chicago - Chicago XXX
Rhino Records  (2006)
Jazz Rock, Rock

В коллекции
#1243

0*
CD    13 tracks  (56:43) 
USA 
   01   Feel (Hot Single Mix)             04:01
   02   King of Might Have Been             03:52
   03   Caroline             03:39
   04   Why Can't We             04:07
   05   Love Will Come Back             03:48
   06   Long Lost Friend             04:33
   07   90 Degrees and Freezing             03:52
   08   Where Were You             04:17
   09   Already Gone             06:51
   10   Come To Me, Do             04:36
   11   Lovin' Chains             03:56
   12   Better             04:41
   13   Feel (Horn Section Mix)             04:30
Личные заметки
Цена 18,98р.
Ссылки Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon Germany
Описание
UPC (Штрихкод) 081227336226
Упаковка Jewel Case
Качество записи DDD
Аудио Stereo
Примечания
Originally March 21, 2006\n\nAMG EXPERT REVIEW: Despite the possible euphemisms of the title, 2006's Chicago XXX is not the band's raciest album since Hot Streets, nor is it their installment in the extreme-action spy series kicked off by Vin Diesel -- instead, it's the veteran group's first proper studio album since 1995's flop Night and Day: Big Band, and considering that was a detour into retro-swing, XXX is their first mainstream pop album since 1991's Twenty 1, which is a 15-year gap between pop records. That's an awfully long wait -- in the meantime, the band has been putting out live albums, Christmas records and hit comps, bringing the total up to 30 LPs -- but apart from the diluted trip-hop beat from "Feel (Hot Single Mix)" that kicks off the album, you'd never know that XXX was made and recorded in 21st century. It sounds like it could have been released in 1991 as Twenty 1, since it contains the same kind of sunny good-time pop and power ballads that made Chicago a staple on adult contemporary stations in the late '80s. But there is a difference this time around: XXX is actually a better overall record than anything the group released in the wake of Peter Cetera's departure. Song for song, it's memorably melodic and Jay Demarcus, best-known as a member of contemporary country-pop act Rascal Flatts, has given the album a bright sheen that is nevertheless varied, punching up the horns on "Better," emphasizing the sweet melody on the "Hard to Say I'm Sorry" dead ringer "King of Might Have Been," turning up the guitars on "Caroline," a happy variation on "Look Away." It sounds as if Chicago and Demarcus went into the album with the intention that this would be a hit along the lines of Chicago 19, and while that kind of wishful thinking may not be fulfilled -- there are very few radio stations in 2006 that will play this kind of slick adult contemporary music -- this sense of purpose and drive has resulted in a surprisingly strong, thoroughly entertaining comeback album that's actually better than the albums it intends to emulate. It's not for every Chicago fan -- those who long for either the early-'70s or early-'80s heydays will find this too produced and MOR for their liking -- but fans of Chicago's late-'80s albums will find themselves right at home on XXX. -- Stephen Thomas Erlewine\n\nAmazon.com Editorial Review\nOn their first studio album of the millennium, the horn rock progenitors continue to mine the pop ballad vein that's been their stock in trade since the '70s. The fiery, jazz-rooted brass arrangements that were their original signature continue to take a back seat to slick pop constructions (or disappear entirely on the opening single mix of the album's harmony 'n' electro-rhythm-driven "Feel"), even as they add a sense of familiar integrity throughout. Their continued focus on pop vocal riches is ably aided on the winning ballad "Love Will Come Back" by country stars Rascal Flatts and pushed in a more contemporary r&b vein via the sultry guest vocals of Shelly Fairchild on "Why Can't We." Yet Chicago still manages to conjure an impressive range of musical energy and dynamics throughout, from the spare, neo-classicism of "King of What Might Have Been" (featuring the deft harmonies of guest Joseph Williams) and pop-precious "Caroline" to the muscular energy of "90 Degrees and Freezing" and Caribbean flavored "Come to Me, Do." --Jerry McCulley \n\nAmazon.com Product Description\nWhen Chicago exploded onto the music scene with their stellar 1969 double-LP debut, Chicago Transit Authority, the band's innovative fusion of up-front horns in a rock 'n' roll context and impeccable pop sensibilities was an instant smash. Chicago rank among the all-time most successful American rock group. On their 30th album, and first new studio album in 10 years-the band's songwriting mastery and world-class musicianship shines on a collection of tracks ranging from signature ballads to funked-up grooves to solid rockers. \n\nAMAZON.COM CUSTOMER REVIEW\nChicago in 2006, April 9, 2006\nReviewer: John Mlynar\nChicago XXX is a good snapshot of where the band is in 2006. You're not going to get the extended solos that graced albums 1 thru V, but you will get more interesting stuff than the Foster/19/21 efforts. Like him or not, I think this is Jason Scheff's best stuff since he's been with the band (I happen to like him). If you're an old fan looking for stuff like side 4 of CTA, II or III, you're wasting your time here. But if you appreciate the sounds of the current lineup, can handle ballads (well done ballads, imo), and enjoy great harmonizing and musicianship, XXX will not disappoint you. I've listened to it extensively for 3 weeks, and continue to do so because I find parts of it particularly intriguing.\n\nAMAZON.COM CUSTOMER REVIEW\nKing(s) Of Might Have Been, April 9, 2006\nReviewer: THE EAGLE "Victorious" (California)\nLets face it, this band went "south" back in the 80s.No, no, I mean it literally. They became a southern ballad/rock group when Jason Scheff came on the scene. Rascal Flatts and Chicago?! \n\nI must admit that I am a "CTA" era fan, not the "HHB" fans since the 80s. This album definitely is not targeted to us over 40 fans...who have been the loyal backbone over the years. I know that Terry Kath is long deceased, and Peter went...god knows where, and Danny was run out by Bill Champlin and others. That all said, this is a somewhat entertaining album. \n\n90 Degrees And Freezing is my favorite song, and the closest to the band that Guercio described as wanting to be known only for their musical integrity. Huh! The horns are flashbacks, and the rhythm is great, except of course for the annoying voice of Scheff. \n\nBetter is classic Champlin, and I must say the lyrics and horns on Already Gone are infectious. However, Scheff spoils this album with his whiny and wimpy teenager vocals. \n\nThis album will do well commercially. \n\nI can only hope it is the last one. \n\nTo quote the old band, 'It Better End Soon.'\n\nAMAZON.COM CUSTOMER REVIEW\nUndecided long-time fan - It's OK, but more of the same..., March 31, 2006\nReviewer: my business "so don't think of spamming me." (Seattle area)\nFirst, I'll say that I've conciously been a Chicago fan since hearing "V" (by far their best work IMHO) in 1972. Then I got their back catalogue, and realized that I'd liked their earlier stuff too, I just didn't know who it was. Of course, being a stage band geek helped with my appreciation for horns. I've been a professional musician since getting my union card in 1977. I'm comfortable with any style from Motown to Nickelback and Metallica, and do it all well enough to have made a living at it. \n\nChicago is one of two bands whose albums I would buy without first hearing them, and have rarely been truly disappointed (except maybe 12 and 14). I even liked the textures on "Victorious" from 19. I waited and waited 15 years for new material, begged for SOS to be released after hearing a few unreleased tracks, bought the Big Band and the Christmas CD (both versions). I really am a Chi fan. I've seen them in concert many times since the mid 70's, and am always in awe. \n\nThat out of the way, I've only had this CD for two days, so my opinion may change, but while many of the songs are growing on me, I'm frankly disappointed overall. I'd expected the first new album in 15 years, and the follow-up to SOS would be so much more... \n\nThis was the band that complained the major labels' demand for more ballads was stifling their creativity, yet they pile on more cheese than a deep dish pizza on the first half of this CD. The opening strains are even copied from their earlier works. I was almost expecting a rework of "Hard Habit To Break" at one point. While it's true that nobody does the power ballad better, please try to keep it to a maximum of 2. I don't care how cute Jason is, enough is enough. And the over-use of the Fosterisms - the jingly-jangly keyboard sounds and those damned dotted-quarter note shots everywhere. They were cool in 1986. \n\nSure, those first songs have some redeeming sections, but for the most part, they sound to me like throwaways from 16. Maybe it is true that the band lost its heart and soul that fateful night in 1978. \n\nAhh... but the second half! "90 Degrees..." is cool, and delivers some truly old-school trademark horns, albeit a very short foray. Unfortunately, the song itself is again stuck in the 80's, and reminds me a little of Toto, with Chi horns nailed onto the side. There are a couple of other moments where the real band comes through, but they're too few and too short. \n\nI don't know why this band needs to hire session players for their recordings, or to recycle 80's material, or 70's material, for that matter. Maybe it's their handlers... Howard Kaufman did such a great job with Heart, after all. Where's Heart now, you ask? Exactly... \n\nLook at the biggest album of 1999 - Santana's "Supernatural". Did Carlos write a bunch of "Black Magic Woman" copies? Did he feel the need to half fill the album with ballads? No. He wrote (or collaborated on) songs that were current in style and production, that would get mainstream radio play, as opposed to AC and lite rock\\oldies stations. His signature guitar style and sound let you know who it was. The result was a hit contemporary work. The kids thought he was a new artist! Chicago could have (and should have) done the same - write some adventurous contemporary rockers, a few contemprary pop tunes (for radio and mainstream sales), and yes, a couple of Foster-free power ballads, then let Jimmy work his magic on the horn arrangements. Everyone would have been happy. \n\nI really think they missed the boat on this one. While I'm sure they'll get a couple of minor hits off this CD - both versions of "Feel" are catchy, for different reasons - it's not the album that is going to put them back on top. SOS at the time of its recording might have been... \n\nNot that it means anyting, but during all the Cetera\\Scheff comparison, has anyone correlated the timeline of the decline of this once great band? For a grin, compare the record sales and size of the concert venues between the CTI-17 era, and from 18-present.\n\nAMAZON.COM CUSTOMER REVIEW\ntheir best new release in 15 years :), March 28, 2006\nReviewer: Rafe M. (IL)\nHooray! Chicago has released a full-length album of new material, their first in fifteen years! \n\nThat's the good news. The bad? Well, there's the fact that this group album sounds more like pieces of solo albums spliced together. Where in the past each contributing songwriter and vocalist added his own touches to something that basically sounded like Chicago, here it's the opposite -- there are little attempts to add Chicago-like touches to what sound like Jason Scheff and Bill Champlin solo efforts. \n\nThis release is also lacking in, to quote a Lamm album title, "subtlety & passion". Perhaps that's the fault of producer Jay DeMarcus, he of country-pop trio Rascal Flatts fame. In place of subtlety we have pauses of total silence followed by pseudo-dramatic full-volume blasts of sound. Doing that once, maybe twice, might be refreshing, but this album's full of those moments. And that matches many of the lyrics, which spell out in blunt, redundant detail just how miserable/sad/optimistic/glad the singer is. As for passion -- there's plenty of overwrought emotion attempting to pass itself off as passion, but the only track exhibiting any real passion is Lamm's "Come To Me, Do". Perhaps that make sense. \n\nThere are also some really disturbing questions that come up as soon as you read the notes, such as: \n\nWhy does James Pankow, one of the band's best and most prolific songwriters, have *no* songwriting credits, not even a partial one? \n\nWhy does a band that has always prided itself on the musical "chops" of its member, for its first release of new music since 1991 employ *six* guest guitarists, *two* guest keyboard players, *two* guest drummers, and even a guest horn player? \n\nHow does a band that, in song: \n\n...railed long and bitterly against the Vietnam War; \n...publicly condemned Richard Nixon at the height of his popularity; \n...longed for the return of Harry Truman-like honesty in the White House; \n...more recently sang about the destruction of our environment ("dear Mother Earth is dying away"); \n...and *always* complained about the apathy of the general public (think "Dialogue"), \n\nnow ignore the political and social issues of a very troubled and turbulent time similar to that of the band's early years, to write bland pap such as "...all she ever needed, was the chance to be completed..."? \n\n(Gag.) \n\nAnyway, the songs on XXX split naturally into several groups: \n\nThere's the useless and/or cringe-inducing: \n\nKing Of Might Have Been -- a.k.a. Jason Scheff recycles "Hard Habit To Break" without any of the musical or lyrical features that made the earlier song a hit. This one features the "completed" lyric along with a number of other cliched, whiny, and wimpy expressions of love lost. \n\nLove Will Come Back -- Jason comes back to write the embarrassing lyric "fill in the cracks" and actually gets producer Jay DeMarcus to enlist his bandmates in Rascal Flatts to sing that line. (With a straight face?) This is the optimistic/positive companion to "King..." (And what songwriter in his right mind would start a ballad with the words, "I don't love you any more..."? Can you just see someone saying to their S.O., "Honey, listen to this great Chicago song..." only to have *that* be the first thing they hear?) \n\nLong Lost Friend -- Jason again, this time with such original lines as "every single breath you take, you take with me" and "you came into my life and put all the pieces into place" (how *does* he come up with this stuff?) \n\nWhy Can't We -- Bill Champlin's unnecessary duet with someone most Chicago fans probably couldn't identify if she smacked them in the head with her one-and-only country album. Bill should be ashamed of soiling the theme of a great old Chicago hit by singing "...we can get stronger every day" towards the end of this one. \n\nFeel (Hot Single Mix) -- This version just simply doesn't need to exist, ever, anywhere near a Chicago album. No horns? What the **** were they thinking? \n\nThen there's the marginally passable: \n\nLovin' Chains -- One of two songs on XXX (three if you count "Feel" twice) that credits no band members as writers, this song might have had some promise if the lyrics didn't resort to the same helpless-poor-wimpy-loser theme that is otherwise Jason Scheff's forte. \n\nAlready Gone -- Normally a Bill Champlin composition would rank higher, but this one's too long and the chorus ("check please, Louise/thank you very... NEXT") looks much better on paper than when Bill sings it, running "very" and "next" together so you can't figure out what the heck he's singing. His fake bluesman/soul man act is wearing a bit thin, a la P. C. Moblee. \n\nAnd these have some redeeming qualities: \n\nCaroline -- Proof that Jason Scheff can write catchy, upbeat songs, even if the lyrics are a bit sophomoric and not especially original. The chorus is catchy enough to make this somewhat likeable. \n\nWhere Were You -- Another catchy tune, revisiting the old territory of "it's sad to belong to someone else when the right one comes along." Again, the chorus makes this one. \n\n90 Degrees And Freezing -- If you ignore the title and stop thinking that there just had to be better word choices than "pretty" ("why am I the only one who's cold on such a pretty day"), this one's almost like an old-time Chicago tune, run through the inevitable Jason-filter. \n\nBetter -- Begs the question "does Bill Champlin save his best material for his solo albums?" Maybe he's given up on giving the band his good stuff, after having three excellent songs flushed with the SOS non-release. This one doesn't hold a candle to "Plaid", "Cry For The Lost", or "The Show Must Go On", any one of which is instantly better than anything else on this album. On the other hand "Better" is, indeed, better than most of the rest of this disc. \n\nFeel (The Horn Section Mix) -- With the horns in place and a non-tenor lead vocal, this song really sounds like part of the natural evolution of the Chicago sound into the 21st century. Too bad that the band, its management, and/or its record company didn't have the testicular fortitude to release this version to radio, choosing instead the bland and lifeless so-called "Hot" mix. (Saying it doesn't make it so, guys!) Apparently Chicago wants a hit but is unwilling to have their song be readily identified as a Chicago tune. If they perform this live, will they wear Michael Buble masks (or maybe Lifehouse?) \n\nCome To Me, Do -- More proof that Robert Lamm can still write a killer song (and that he needs to have someone else come up with the titles -- this one's almost up there with "It's A Groove, This Life") The song itself is classic Lamm and makes you want to hear more. He's always had a knack for taking a simple concept and uncomplicated lyrics and creating something that's far more than the sum of the parts. This one's a winner. \n\nTo sum up: it's a new Chicago album. You'll love it in proportion to how much you crave any new Chicago material vs. how much you'd really love to hear them give it their best shot. Enjoy! \n\np.s. I rated this one officially at 3 stars because I really do still love Chicago after all these years, and because "only a dope" would express his true opinion in the face of a tidal wave of "My God! This is great! Best they've ever done!" reviews. Really this release is in the 2-star to 2.5-star range, at best.\n\nAMAZON.COM CUSTOMER REVIEW\nTime to hang it up, the music is long gone, March 23, 2006\nReviewer: Kenneth Bowles (Santa Monica, CA)\nIt's taken Jason Scheff over 20 years of being in Chicago and he has finally managed to prove what everyone knew all along -- he can't sing as well as Peter Cetera, he can't write songs as well as Peter Cetera, and he certainly is not as unique as Peter Cetera. \n\nJason Scheff's contributions to this album overwhelm it to the point that it's absolutely horrendous to listen to. He provides one cliched ballad after another, all of which are stuck in the late-1980s/early 1990s. His thin voice is painful to listen to and his songs are instantly forgetable. \n\nBill Champlin is the sole redemption for this album with "Already Gone" and "Better." These songs, which sound like they could have come from the most recent Sons of Champlin album, are full of strong horn charts, B-3 organ, heavy guitar, and Champlin's signature growling and sarcastic lyrics. \n\nRobert Lamm is just a mere spectator on XXX, having provided only two songs (one of which he gets only a one-fourth songwriting credit). His songs are predictable and boring, adding nothing to the Chicago legacy. \n\nIn all, Champlin's contributions are the only highlights to an album where most of the instruments are not even played by the members of Chicago, but rather by Nashville session players. Unfortunately, Scheff ruins an album that Chicago fans waited 15 years for. His nauseating singing and absolutely cliched songwriting have no place on a Chicago album, let alone an album released on a major label in 2006. \n\nChicago's dwindling fan base will probably dwindle even further after this release. They should hang it up now while they still can. They simply cannot go any lower than this Scheff-produced dreck. They have hit rock bottom.\n\nAMAZON.COM CUSTOMER REVIEW\nChicago XXX is just OK, March 22, 2006\nReviewer: Jim in Merced CA "Yes, that Jim in Merced CA" (Merced, CA) \nI've been listening to Chicago for 25 years or so -- the first album I bought was 'Hot Streets,' so I'm not yearnin' for the Old Days when they were singing 'Beginnings' and so forth. \n\nMy issue with this album is that they haven't really updated their sound since their last effort of original stuff from 1991 -- 15 years ago. \n\nFor me, too many power ballads, one after the other, with Jason Scheff doing the lead vocals. Tedious. One is the same as the next. \n\nThe upbeat tunes are just okay too. Here's the sample lyric for 'Already Gone' -- 'And you're already gone / \nDown the road/ All on your own /Check please, Louise / What did I expect?' \n\nIt's an album that, for me, lacks inspiration -- nothing new here. And it all sounds dated and done before. On the other hand, I bought the latest from 'Sons of Champlin' and Donald Fagen -- both excellent from existing artists in the industry. \n\nCheck please, indeed. \n\nAs an addendum, I have been enjoying 'Lovin' Chains' and 'Better' but both of those feature Bill Champlin, and if you close your eyes, they sound like 'Sons of Champlin' so there you go.\n\nAMAZON.COM CUSTOMER REVIEW\nTres Disapointed, March 22, 2006\nReviewer: Edward J. Shannon, AIA (Elgin, IL United States)\nI have been a HUGE fan of Chicago's for the past 30 years and I must say I am very disappointed with this album. Like many Chicago fans I am partial to the "Classic Chicago" that peaked in the early seventies. These were the times in which the band had a diversity of styles and vocalists (Robert Lamm, Terry Kath, and Peter Cetera) however, as most fans know, the "Peter Cetera" sound tended to dominate their work in the late seventies and early eighties. \n\nSo, one might ask, what was I expecting? For starters I was expecting more contributions from Lamm and Jimmy Pankow. Although I'm sure Jimmy had a big part in the horn arrangements, he didn't contribute a single song. Robert contributed very little, too. If you watch one of the Chicago concert DVDs or get to see them live, you will agree that this band still has it. I have to wonder what they have been doing 9from a compositional standpoint) for the last 15 years? Robert Lamm's solo release "Subtlety and Passion" (S&P)is an excellent effort. And in many ways it seems more "Chicago" than XXX. Why couldn't Robert have saved some of his material (i.e. Somewhere Girl) for this new release? Instead the album is dominated by Jason Scheff's slow ballads - which seem to be doing exactly what the band that Cetera did. There are some funky mixes here, but what are they? They sure don't seem too Chicago. \n\nAnd then there are the horns. Everybody knows that the "Chicago Horns" gave the band its trademark distinction. While the horns seem to be wonderfully integrated on Lamm's S&P, on XXX they seem to be an added afterthought - forced and contrived. Also, the cheesy 80's percussion mixing sound of their "Hot Single Mix" Free just make it seem, as if instead of trying to create inspiring music as they once did, they are trying too hard to reach the commercial masses with a single. These guys are talented musicians. They don't need to prove themslelves to anybody. Where is their integrity? \n\nSimply put, I feel this album is a huge missed opportunity. \n\nAMAZON.COM CUSTOMER REVIEW\nThoroughly mediocre; a shadow of their former glory, March 21, 2006\nReviewer: William Merrill "eclecticist" (San Antonio, TX United States)\n(2 & 1/2 stars) In my youth Chicago was one of my very favorite bands - in the top 2 or 3 for sure. When I played trumpet back then, I even had the trumpet parts memorized from songs like "Questions 67 and 68." I even enjoyed their more "lite rock" phase of the '80s. But all of that was then and this is now. Their new "XXX" is not so hot. The main problem is epitomized by the 2nd track on the CD, "King of Might Have Been." It's a mildly pretty ballad along the lines of "You're The Inspiration." The big obvious differences are in the current talent then versus now. "Inspiration" featured the winning vocals of Peter Cetera (no longer in the band); "King" has the merely competent Jason Scheff singing. The new song was produced and arranged by Jay DeMarcus (who?); "Inspiration" was filled with shimmering, subtle and beautiful touches created by the incomparable David Foster. "King" is a very ordinary and unmemorable tune; "Inspiration" is a classic that was co-written by Cetera and Foster. And that example pretty much represents what happens on the album as a whole. It's undoubtedly unfair to compare this new CD to Chicago's glory days, but the fact remains that it's a pale imitation. \n\nA couple of thoughts regarding the CD's title. First, the album count has gotten shakier over the years. I don't think that every regurgitated and repackaged collection (ex., "Chicago Love Songs") should count toward the total. So really they are nowhere near 30 albums. Second, the movie rating implications of "XXX" seem to have completely escaped them, as there is no mention of anything relating to that in the album booklet or art.\n\nHalf.com Details \nProducer: Jay DeMarcus \n\nAlbum Notes\nChicago: Bill Champlin (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Robert Lamm (vocals, keyboards); Jason Scheff (vocals, electric bass); Keith Howland (guitar, background vocals); Walt Parazaider (woodwinds); Lee Loughnane (trumpet, flugelhorn); James Pankow (trombone); Tris Imboden (drums).\nAdditional personnel: Gary LeVox, Joe Don Rooney, Jay DeMarcus.\nThough often disparaged by music critics, Chicago maintained a consistent output--and sold millions of records in the process--from their first album in 1969 right into the early 2000s. They dabbled variously in rock, jazz, and R&B before settling into smooth, adult-contemporary fare in the 1980s, becoming staples of MOR radio. 2006's XXX is a return to that MOR sound, with sweet memorable melodies that recall the band's Peter Cetera-led heyday.\n"King of Might Have Been" is a fine example, finding a place alongside the best of Chicago's mainstream power ballads. "Feel (Hot Single Mix)" traffics a bit in the textures of electronica, but beneath that the sound is, unmistakably, Chicago. The production from Rascal Flatts' member Jay Demarcus is sharp and crisp and brightens the overall sound while showcasing the band's classic elements. XXX is perhaps Chicago's most consistent pop release since 1991's TWENTY 1. YEAR: 2006