Chicago XXXVI: Now is the first album of completely new material from the band for eight years. As it’s the 23rd album over the course of 47 years from the soft-rock giants (36th if you include live albums and compilations), then it’s safe to say that nobody is expecting anything radically different or new from the band. Which is a good job really as this is a case of sticking to their well worn formula.
So as always you get soft melodic music (you’d be hard pressed to call it rock), a horn section, keyboards, percussion and some very smooth vocals. At times you can even hear the guitars (but not that often). The songs are saccharine sweet, and in the case of “America”, rather cheesy. The 70s sound does feel dated, but for me the big problem with this album is how bland it is. I’m sorry but there’s nothing here that sticks in the memory at all – it feels like the perfect music to play in a hotel bar or lifts (elevators for American readers) – it’s better than silence but is bland enough that it won’t disturb conversations
If you like things bland and uninteresting then this album is the one for you. If however you like music then this isn’t for you – I just can’t find anything that could make me recommend it.
2. More Will Be Revealed
4. Crazy Happy
5. Free At Last
6. Love Lives On
7. Something’s Coming, I Know
8. Watching All the Colors
9. Nice Girl
10. Naked in the Garden of Allah
11. Another Trippy Day