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Return To Forever - No Mystery CD (album) cover

NO MYSTERY

Return To Forever

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.72 | 139 ratings

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Progfan97402
4 stars To me, No Mystery is a bit of an oddity in the RTF catalog. It's clear on side one (the first five cuts, if you own the CD) the band was exploring funk, with a little disco thrown in. It's still unmistakably fusion, though, so if you like fusion, it shouldn't bother you too much, but maybe for the more prog inclined, it might, although Al DiMeola's "Flight of the Newborn" is the most proggy thing on side one, more resembling something off Al's late '70s material (the more proggy stuff, not the flamenco stuff) from Land of the Midnight Sun or Elegant Gypsy. "Excerpt From the First Movement of Heavy Metal" gets me scratching my head. What's metal about this? Of course I understand Chick Corea and the boys would never play heavy metal, but what about the rest of the First Movement, and perhaps several other movements? Was there supposed to be a Heavy Metal Suite? Regardless, it's more of the funky stuff the guys were exploring on that side. I suppose it was Lenny White steering the band in a more funky direction as a lot of it brings to mind his first solo album Venusian Summer, released later the same year (1975). Side two is a different story. Here they're going for a much more prog-oriented direction. To my ears they actually sound like Romantic Warrior sessions, even though this predates that album by a year, but it's clear as a bell where they were already heading on this side. The music is much more complex, there's almost Gentle Giant-like moves at times. All this culminates with the two part "Celebration Suite". Side two is very much worth it for the proggers, especially if they enjoy Romantic Warrior. I can see while why this album still gets favorable reviews, it's not as highly regarded as the other three with Lenny White (Al DiMeola wasn't on Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy). Mainly because the funky material they do here may not appeal to every proghead, and that disco on "Jungle Waterfall" may make many wonder if they sold out. Luckily they didn't, and that was their only disco song here. For the more prog inclined, listen to side two, it's amazing stuff, foreseeing what they'll be doing on Romantic Warrior. Side one is still quite enjoyable, but less complex and less prog. Still worth getting.
Progfan97402 | 4/5 |

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