Picks and Pans Review: Twenty 1
Nearly a quarter century ago most people probably would have wagered that Blood, Sweat & Tears would outlast their similarly styled coevals in Chicago (then known as the Chicago Transit Authority).
But BS & T is now a remote memory while Chicago just keeps chugging along. They've stayed in it for the long haul by becoming a musical franchise with fungible personnel, like Menudo; by burying the brass that was once their trademark; and by churning out a series of sappy pop hits. (Then too, many fans may like them for no other reason than that their records are so easy to arrange chronologically.)
Well, there they go again. The Top 40 candidates are all here, stacked deeper than ever: "Explain It to My Heart" and "Chasin' the Wind." predictably catchy offerings from hit-writer extraordinaire Diane Warren, "if It Were You," peppered by the group's suddenly resurgent horn contingent, and the peppy Eagles-meet-Billy Joel pop of "Somebody Somewhere."
Even the lesser tracks that fill out the record—"Holdin' On," say—are soothing tonics. Nothing here leaves any more lasting an impression than the sound track to a Rocky movie, but if it's little more than tasteful sonic wallpaper, it's also slick, romantic, nicely played and so seemingly effortless that one gets the sneaking suspicion that Chicago may yet take their album titles into triple digits. (Reprise)