April 24, 2024

Burrellguitars

I Fall For Art

Chicago: Chicago Hits XXX With a New Batch of Songs

We hadn’t been able to say much about Chicago for nearly 10 years. Finally with a 30th studio album (appropriately titled “XXX”) that showcases their galatically superior songwriting, singing and instrumental chops, the drought finally ended.

The first single, “Feel” pounds with a solid Tris Imboden funk backbeat and features their signature horn section to full effect. If you still find yourself missing Peter Cetera after 20 years, go ahead and have someone unfeather your hair and then check out Jason Scheff’s impossibly cool vocals on the chorus of “Caroline”. I love Cetera, but I’m not someone who thinks only one guy can play Batman. Scheff has an impeccable bloodline (his dad was Elvis’ bass-player, for crying out loud) and his smooth upper register has carved out a firm niche in Chicago. Bill Champlin (‘Where Were You’) and Robert Lamm (’90 Degrees and Freezin’) are equally represented here, and does a stellar job on

Chicago songs have distanced themselves from the 80s power-ballads that became the band’s staple, but lets face it, they do them so well that to not have a contender or two on this album would be downright tragic. Enter ‘King of What Might Have Been’ and the sky-high vocals of ‘Long Lost Friend’; two stellar Chicago ballads that will either seriously irritate you (if you have been waiting for another album like Chicago Transit Authority) or thrill you (if you’re like me and love the work they did with producer, David Foster).

Rounded out with some unusual but cool collaborations with Rascal Flatts and Shelly Fairchild, “XXX” showcases Chicago’s timeless sound in a way we’d all been dying to hear for a decade. Botton line: if you are a fan of the Chicago sound and haven’t heard this album, it’s high time to put down whatever it is you’re doing and jump into Chicago XXX.