Earth, Wind & Fire

Millennium

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Since the mid-1980s, Earth, Wind & Fire's output had been erratic and quite uneven. One never knew whether the veteran soul/funk band would come out with something as impressive as Share the World or something as embarrassing as Heritage. After many years with Columbia, EWF switched to Warner Bros. -- ironically, a label that gave Maurice White and friends the boot back in 1972 -- with Millennium. While Heritage found EWF bending over backwards to appeal to urban contemporary tastes, sounding unnatural and even silly in the process, Millennium is a more honest and organic recording. Though hardly in a class with That's The Way Of The World or Spirit -- or for that matter, Share The World -- Millennium is a decent offering that finds the crew being true to itself. Much of the material, especially "Sunday Morning," "Chicago (Chi-Town) Blues" and "Honor the Magic," is fairly memorable. Unfortunately, the urban contemporary audience wasn't receptive to EWF's honesty. As influential as EWF had been, and as often as it had been sampled in hip-hop, the group was treated like it was expendable.

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