The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world




JULY 4 2014



Tracklisting:Now; More Will Be Revealed; America; Crazy Happy; Free At Last; Love Lives On; Something's Coming, I Know; Watching All The Colors; Nice Girl; Naked In The Garden Of Allah; Another Trippy Day.


If your heart desires a bit of slick, feather-light funk and soul with a dash of rock then Chicago’s ‘Now – Chicago XXXVI’ is what you are looking for.  Coming across like the softest of West Coast AOR replete with horns, funky bass lines and falsetto crooning Chicago is fine form for what Chicago do, though to some ears of course it will just sound like Earth Wind and Fire circa ‘After the Love is Gone’. Opener ‘Now’ really fits that description, at least to these ears, and it’s a fine song, but ‘More Will be Revealed’ is a little horn-heavy for us and a little too clean.


As the album progresses though what comes over most of all is the sheer slickness of the song-writing even if it might feel a little cheesy at times like the opening line to ‘America’ “America, America is Free. America, America is You and Me’. It’s all a bit seventies is vibe and intent coming across like a Marvin Gaye B-Side.


Elsewhere the jazzy ‘Crazy Happy’ might be a step too far for Rock fans, but ‘Free At Last’ starts with guitar before it drowns in brass and is a spirited stab of rock Chicago-style with a killer solo swimming in funky horns; ‘Love Lives On’ is a nice low-key ballad stripped of most adornments and as such makes a great contrast to the ‘very produced’ bulk of the album.


There’s more of course and the title ‘Naked in the Garden of Allah’ might raise a few eyebrows. The song itself is quite interesting having a long gestation period and written by Robert Lamm it’s a commentary on the last ten years in the Middle east and sees political commentary clearly back on the table in Chicagoland just like it used to be.    


If you love Chicago it’s hard to think you won’t love this. If you don’t they probably don’t care: 22 albums, 18 platinum sort of speaks for itself…


Chicago is 47…



by Mark Rockpit