Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, Rock
1980 CBS Records 10 Tracks
1980 CBS Records
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Chicago, Not Cetera
Slo Basting | Memphis, TN USA | 07/10/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Chicago XIV is the band's effort to recover from the abyssmal disco album. They went back to the basics with Cetera dominating the writing. The songs on this album do have some basic qualities, but the band needed a more aggressive producer to develop the material then Tom Dowd.Manipulation rips out a mean keyboard theme, some rhymes and a musical bridge. There's not any chorus or resolution. Lamm had a great start to a song here, but no one cleaned it up.Cetera's sappy Upon Arrival, Song for You, and Where Did the Loving Go? follow. Clearly anticlimactic to the upbeat starter and plainly too much for an album where the band's trying to get back to their roots. Interestly enough, it's about the time Chicago XIV was released that Cetera did his debut solo LP. He obviously put more effort into the work giving top billing.Seraphine's "Birthday Boy" is a cute song, Just as his "Little One" was on XI. It makes an appropriate closer to the first half of the CD after putting up with Cetera's mess.The second half of the CD is a marvel to listen to. Cetera rips into Hold On, and Overnight Cafe has a mellow meaness which Cetera performs only as he can. "Thunder and Lighting" (The release from this effort)is cutsie to start with. I'm sorry 3-4 minutes are needed before I get to listen to Pankow's trombone solo. The final compositions, "I'd Rather Be Rich" and "The American Dream" are the best songs Chicago has used to close a CD with to this point. In the former, Lamm shows his ability to rock AND resolve the effort. In The American Dream, Pankow redeems himself for the pathetic "Runaway", which he wrote to close XIII, with a driving uplifting effort which makes a much needed commentary on the affairs of american politics, (the last commentary by the band since album VIII when they did Harry Truman).This CD has a lot of potential. It's a shame you have to sit through the first half before you find it."
Robert Gross | Long Beach, CA USA | 05/10/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This album has always been the bald-headed step-child among the die-hard Chicago fans who know about it, and that's a shame.
The thing that makes it a standout album is the band's willingness at this point in their careers to experiment and grow. The whole album is a lot edgier than anything they had done since the initial Columbia trilogy.
The lyrics are downright bitter, which, mapped with Chicago's innovative jazz-rock sound, is a refreshing change from the increasingly light pop they had been doing since Chicago X.
The standout track is the first, Robert Lamm's "Manipulation." An amazing, quasi-atonal guitar solo by Chris Pinnick, really trippy meter changes, a really gritty lead vocal by the increasingly marginalized co-lead-vocalist Robert Lamm, funky horns and groovy congas from Laudir de Oliviera. Even Peter Cetera gets to focus on an aspect he is least remembered for: extremely fluid bass playing.
Other standout tracks include the reggae-influenced "Overnight Cafe"; hard-rocking "Hold On"; jazz-rock "Thunder and Lightning"; caustic satire of "I'd Rather Be Rich"; and the nicely under-produced ballad "Song For You."
If the other tracks suffer, it is from an over-reliance on some very ineffective synthesizer sounds. But then, in 1980, they were only two years away from the advent of MIDI and the over-reliance on that which, in the hands of David Foster, would change their sound forever. Chicago XIV is the last stop on the ol' Southshore representing the "vintage classic rock Chicago" sound."