Making Sense Of Millennium
Andre S. Grindle | Brewer Maine | 02/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is EWF's second album of the 90's and their best up to this point.The funk tracks (and there are many) are good even if they tend to be very hyperactive but it's the album's more unusual moments that catch fire 'Sunday Morning' and 'Honor The Magic' are the standouts to me,as is the lilting 'Divine'-the latter two have a new slinky sexuallity not even heard on EWF numbers.'Superhero' is penned by Prince and while being very modern and 'new' doesn't try to burry the bands own organic talents in another artists idea-Prince let EWF sound like themselfs and that,even if this is'nt even close to one of their classic albums,is very much worth it to those with more then a casual interest in the group and a MUCH needed improvement on 1990's pandering 'Heritage'."
EHH, I'LL TAKE IT...
Christopher Williams | Syracuse, NY United States | 09/11/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Yeah, I'm a newly developed Earth, Wind & Fire fan, but even if I was on the edge of my seat in 1993 awaiting this album's release, it would not have necessarily won me over. But, ehh, I'll take it.
The album starts out fairly strong. "Sunday Morning" with its eye-opening horns, echoing voices and cadence reminiscent of "Serpentine Fire", is an obvious winner that flashes the EW&F sound we have all come to love. "Blood Brothers" brings their sound all the way back and deals with ghetto issues on a very refined adult contemporary arrangement that remains true to EW&F. "Spend The Night" is Maurice going straight Celine Dion, similar to "I Need You" back on his 1985 solo album, over a sound vying for limitless commercial acceptance. I can still listen to it, though. "Divine" is a funky R&B creation commandeered by none other than Phillip Bailey, who offers a rare showcasing of his tenor skills. "Honor The Magic" is a short, salsa-flavored work of art. "Super Hero" is one of my personal favorites. It features Prince, who finds a powerful medium between his quirky rock sound and EW&F's elaborate funk. This jam cranks out a message that cries freedom for African-American males from the hood. "Love Across The Wire" and "Chicago Blues" are also noteable cuts.
Even with the strong aforementioned efforts woven into this album, there is also plenty of filler. I can suck up "Love Is The Greatest Story", but "The "L" Word" is the worst song I have ever heard by this group, considering the nauseating lyrics, the dated music and the fact that I have a personal hatred for New Jack Swing. "Even If You Wonder" was hardly the song to choose as track #1, in that it dwells on lackluster synth sounds and lacks attention-getting lyrics. "Wouldn't Change A Thing About You" does not offer much to get excited about. Since Phillip started his solo career in the early '80s, it seems as though he has developed a pop-R&B-based sound that he has been bringing back to EW&F albums since 1987's Touch The World. And, it is seriously hurting the chemistry of Millennium. Even though the album was largely produced by Maurice White, it almost seems like Phillip's songs on the album are intermissions for the rest of the group. Like, "We interrupt this EW&F album to bring you a special Phillip Bailey song..."
Millennium is just as volatile as the cover art for the album. What's right about the album is very right, and what's wrong is very wrong. The royal vocal displays, plethora of topics and spiritual supremacy of EW&F is back, but the flawless production and overall album tightness is not. This albums represents a talented hand extended to the pop world of music, which, despite the Grammy nomination, was swiftly spat on. This album should be recognized for what it is - a successful comeback album for the greatest group of all time. I recommend this album to die-hard EW&F fans (and you can get them REAL cheap right now). If you are only a fan of their hits, this is EW&F choking on the bar they raised twenty years ago."