"...I encourage anyone who is a big fan of EWF Cosmic Brass Band sound as represented in the current releasing of their greatest hits to go back and listen to some of the earlier albums. That's because after the CD/album 'All'n'All', I feel that they had lost some of the rawness and realness and substituted it with slick and overproduced megasongs. Now far be it for me to understate their influence, especially, on urban gospel. But if the listener is like me, then sometimes he wants something less stellar, more earthy...This album to me represents that mix well. Heavily Charles Stepney influenced, it is raw and real where it needs to be, and cosmic where it need to be. I just love songs like "Tee Nine Inch Bit" because they're done in a fun spirit...and we need a lotta more songs done in a fun spirit. "Feeling Blue" is quite a bit of easy listening jazz--it almost sounds like a fly the friendly skies airline commercial. But it still grooves, dig? "Open our Eyes" is a song taken from Stepney's stinct as a composer/writer/arranger with the Chess Records group...where he met young drummer Maurice White. Originally done by the group the Gospel Clefs, done here it is a heartfelt performance highlighted by young Phillip Bailey's off the chart falsetto...(am I the only one who was in awe when Bailey and Jessica Cleaves hit those notes together in earlier EWF efforts?) "Fair But So Uncool", "Caribou" (the studio in the Rockies), "Mighty, Mighty"...How can you not enjoy what they have done on this production? More raw, less stellar, more earthy. It would be a great addition to anyone's CD collection...But don't take my word on it, listen for yourself..."
Our Eyes Have Been Opened
Michael Topper | Pacific Palisades, California United States | 05/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Open Our Eyes" is the best studio album in Earth, Wind And Fire's extensive catalog, as it mixes the underground sound of the first few albums with the highly commercial sound of what was to come. Side one of the original vinyl featured five perfectly crafted pop songs which literally defined tasteful funk, R&B and pop in the mid-70s; the funk songs groove hard while the ballads still sound earnest (and are free from the cheezy orchestrations which mar those on the later albums). Everything is catchy, melodic and well sequenced; the second side features mini-explorations of all of the group's styles to date, including jazz ("Spasmodic Movements"), Santana-like jamming (Caribou), African percussion ("Drum Song") and street funk ("Tee Nine Chee Bit"). By the time the group sum up the proceedings with the haunting spiritual title track, the listener is overwhelmed by the group's talent and sense of style. 'Nuff said."
An Important Stepping Stone
Andre' S Grindle | Bangor,ME. | 10/01/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is Earth,Wind & Fire's third album featuring Phillip
Bailey and is by far they're strongest pre-"That's The Way Of the World" albums with Bailey-featuring the singer in prime form on the classic "Devotion" and as counterpoint on the equally
powerful uptempo grooves of "Mighty Mighty" and the slyly
humorous "Fair But So Uncool".The big surprise is the jazzy
"Spasmodic Movements" (odd for a funk group to do be-bop really)
but along with the African-influenced "Drum Song",the gospel
soul of the tital song and the hard-edged funk jams "Kalimba Story" and "Tee Nine Chee Bit" this serves as a time capsule of
varrious strains of Afro-American music cira 1974 so you get just about everything you want in that vein AND catchy tunes to
match-EWF's whole purpose anyway."
A BLAST of good vibes!
Andre' S Grindle | 10/22/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's not often you hear a song as irresistible as "Mighty Mighty"! On their 5th album, EWF was getting it together tighter and smoother than ever. Each album seemed better than the one before it. Standouts here also include "Kalimba Story", "Devotion", "Drum Song" and "Open Out Eyes"-- but I also can't help but laugh when I hear 2 guys discussing their "problems" with women on "Tee Nine Chee Bit". Power, class, style AND humor! And dig that cool logo. These guys had it all."