I was 12 years old when I heard "Just You and Me" playing on the radio. I had never heard of Chicago, and visions of a Lawrence Welk style big band playing this song ran through my head(remember, I was 12). The next day I made a beeline to the local store to spend my allowance money on it, and couldn't believe that only seven guys made such a huge sound.
At the time I loved "Just You N Me," and "Feelin' Stronger Every Day," the most. I can still listen to, and enjoy, both of these pop songs, which is often not the case with songs aimed at the charts. But I realize now that these aren't the gems on this album....and there are some real gems on this album.
Terry Kath's guitar once again is the strength of Chicago (even though the horn section received most of the attention). His guitar is really funky on "What's This World Comin' To." Actually the whole band really cranks it up on this one. It has everything, Funk, Jazz, Rock, Soul and Blues. Another great cut is the blues influenced "Rediscovery." Kath lays down one of the finest Wah Wah guitar performances ever recorded. And "Darlin' Dear" is another great blues influenced song featuring a great guitar solo from Kath. These three songs alone make this album a must buy.
Robert Lamm was the dominant writer for Chicago at this time and he puts out some great songs in "Critic's Choice," "Hollywood," and "Something In This City Changes People." "Critics Choice is actually a solo performance by Lamm. No horn section, no guitar, and no drums. Just Robert and his piano. The song's a response to the terrible critical reviews the band had been receiving over the years.
Overall I find myself returning to this Chicago album quite a bit. I find that to be the best gauge as to whether or not an album is good since great songs stand the test of time. This album certainly does.