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"Feelin' Blue", "Love's Holiday", "All About Love", "September" and "Devotion".
Around March of 2005, my old roomate downloaded some music for me and one of the tracks was a song with Earth, Wind & Fire and Raphael Saadiq. Instantly, the song became a favorite song of mine and went searching on amazon to see when Earth, Wind & Fire would release another CD. I soon learned that "Illumination" would be coming soon. Although, the release date was changed often, the CD finally came out a couple of weeks ago. Now, I understand if diehard Earth, Wind & Fire fans may not enjoy the entire CD.Read more ›
'Illumination' has several quality tracks which 'got me' at first play including 'Love's Dance', 'Pure Gold', 'Show Me The Way' (ft.Raphael Saadiq), 'This Is How I Feel', 'To You'(ft.Brian McKnight), and the awesome 'Liberation', which is a tight instrumental showcase for Verdine White's skills on Bass. 'The Way You Move' is merely so-so, but I can't really accept this 2 year old song as a true bonus track (and then there's the issue of Kenny G..yuck!). Jimmy Jam / Terry Lewis, Raphael Saadiq, Brian McKnight, and the great Maurice White did an outstanding job with production. It's always special having Maurice White conribute as active member, and he sounds great considering his condition.
In closing, there are probably other editions of 'Illumination', but getting the original 13 track edition is fine for starters. HOWEVER, if you're a serious EWF fan, consider adding 5 BONUS TRACKS to create an EXPANDED EDITION of 'Illumination'.
Here's the tracklisting for my own special CD...
1. Love Together (ft.Roots Manuva & Raphael Saadiq)*
2. Lovely People (ft.Will.i.am)
3. Pure Gold
4. A Talking Voice - Interlude
5. Love's Dance
6. Show Me The Way (ft.Raphael Saadiq)
7. Autumn (ft.Musiq Soulchild)*
8. Let Me Love You (ft.Floetry)*
9.Read more ›
Before I go any further, though, I'd like to say something about the negative reviews for this album. I understand that everyone has a right to his/her own opinion, but I noticed that the one and two-star reviews don't really go into detail; they don't say WHY the album is bad. At the same time, though, I don't know if it would be fair to compare the songs on this album to smashes like "After the Love Is Gone" and "Devotion". (But if you want to hear some songs with that `70s feel, try "Work It Out" and "Pass You By" on for size.)
In contrast to how this formula usually works, the songs featuring the artists of the moment are actually the better songs, like Floetry on "Elevated" and will.i.am on the aforementioned "Party People". And while some people may think the cover of OutKast's "The Way You Move" (albeit with different lyrics) is unnecessary, I think it's good. Although Big Boi and Sleepy Brown aren't included on this version, they do appear on another highlight, "This Is How I Feel" (Philip Bailey and Sleepy Brown singing together? That even looks good on paper!).
The only song I really have a problem with is the Raphael Saadiq-assisted "Show Me the Way". Don't get me wrong; it's not that it isn't a great song, but it just drags on too much. I know that Raphael has a habit of making long songs sometimes, but after eight minutes, I kind of got the point. Still, Philip, Maurice and the rest of the crew did a wonderful job with this album because it illuminates just fine.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a great, energetic album that any EWF fan would appreciate. It arrived in perfect condition.Published 11 months ago by joseph bryant
Awesome album. I am only 30 years old and I would listen to this album over anything out today. Earth Wind and Fire never disappoint! Lovely people is reason enough to get this.Published 20 months ago by D. King
This is the first album by EWF that I could not stand. The infusion of hip hop to the glorious sound of Earth Wind and Fire, was atrosious. Read morePublished 20 months ago by pb
Can't stop playing it. I totally slept on this in 2005/2006. This is a real solid cd. Maurice White sounds amazing too!Published on January 10, 2014 by S. Neal