15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Chicago gets back on track,
This review is from: "Now" - Chicago Xxxvi (Audio CD)
If you like "old Chicago" (the Terry Kath period), you'll probably like "Now". It has much of the flavor of classic Chicago: emphasis on the horns, songs that include tempo and meter changes and complex chords, some catchy choruses that stick in your head (Now, America, Free at Last), idealistic political lyrics ("America" and "Naked in the Garden of Allah" are cousins to "Dialogue" and "It Better End Soon"), and a few moments where the band actually jams, particularly in those moments where guitarist Keith Howland gets to stretch out.
It's not a perfect record: the overproduced, synth-heavy, overly commercial Chicago from the 80s shows up and tries to sabotage several otherwise good songs, and the album's two best moments (the jams at the end of Free at Last and Nice Girl) are cut short just as they begin, as if someone saw the timer start to reach 6 minutes and was afraid that the song would be "too long", so instead of the music making a natural arc toward resolution, the jams just end abruptly. Shameful.
Still, as a fan of the original line up and the energy and creativity of those early records, this is definitely the closest they've come to that peak in decades - absolutely worth buying.