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Thirty Albums and Still Going

  • Jun 11, 2009
  • by
Title: Chicago XXX
Artist: Chicago
Producer: Jay DeMarcus
Label: Rhino Records
Parental Advisory: No
If You Can Only Buy One Song Make It: Feel

Chicago is one of those bands that have been around forever.  They are also one of the few bands where the order of their discography is hardly in question.  Starting with their second album Chicago has since numbered all their albums, and only a few times have they added a subtitle to that number.  "Chicago XXX" is their 30th studio album, and it's a return to their hit making days of "Chicago 16 & 17."  Granted, that doesn't mean any of these tracks WERE big hits, but they certainly sounded like they should have been!

The album opens as strong as any Chicago album can, with no less then the first six tracks being excellent must-listen-to songs.  Once we get to track 7 (90 Degrees and Freezing) the album starts to go up and down like the stock market, but even then most of the tracks are worthy.  The music is heavy on drums and horns.  While the tracks have a hard rock sound to them, the lyrics and melody are more keen with the sound of a ballad then anything else.  It creates a very interesting sound overall, one that sounds commercial and artistic at the same time.

That said, while the bands rock roots are apparent, it's also obvious that this was the bands most radio-friendly album in years.  With the dwindling interest in the band, you can't help but feel most of the album was written specifically to be singles played on the radio.  Thankfully the album have an overarching theme of hope and love that makes the commercial attempts less obvious and annoying.  It's a shame the album never really took off on either shelves or the radio, but I'm not worried.  Since then Chicago has released two more albums, and they will likely continue to do so.  If you can find this album though I highly recommend it.  Chances are you can find it at discount prices in grocery stores.

Grade: *** and a half stars

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Kevin T. Rodriguez ()
Kevin T. Rodriguez is an aspiring film journalist. He's more comfortable typing a review then doing an on-camera appearance, but he loves doing the occasional rant. Whether it be on movies, eBay, or comics, … more
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About this album


Chicago XXX is an album by the American band Chicago, released on March 21, 2006. Their thirtieth official album, it is Chicago's first studio release of new and original material since 1991's Twenty 1.

The album was recorded in Nashville, Tennessee with horn sessions in Los Angeles, California over the summer of 2005. Production duties were handled by Jay DeMarcus of the country group Rascal Flatts, who came to the project through a friendship with Chicago's bassist-singer Jason Scheff. Demarcus chose many session players for the album, sidelining actual band personnel.

Chicago XXX peaked at #41 in the US during a brief chart stay, spawning minor adult contemporary hits "Feel" and "Love Will Come Back." It ranks among their poorest sellers, alongside "13," "XIV," and "Twenty 1."

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Performer: Chicago
Series: Rock
Release Date: 2006
Label: Rhino
Artist: Chicago
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