Earth, Wind & Fire

In the Name of Love

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Earth, Wind & Fire's return to Warner Bros. with 1993's Millennium proved to be short-lived -- the album failed to meet the company's expectations commercially. Four years later, EWF ended up on the independent, Miami-based Pyramid label with the surprisingly retro In the Name of Love. More personnel changes had taken place, but thankfully, Maurice and Verdine White and Philip Bailey were still on board for what was EWF's most live-sounding, least high-tech offering since 1983's Powerlight. (However, EWF had been touring without Maurice since 1994). Live horns and real instruments abound, and everything from the ballads "Cruising," "When Love Goes Wrong" and "Right Time" to the punchy funk ditty "Rock It" sounds like it could have been recorded in the 1970s. One very pleasant surprise is a remake of "Love of Life," which the pre-Bailey EWF embraced on its self-titled debut album of 1971. Bailey's son, Sir James Bailey, raps on the sociopolitical "Revolution," but on the whole, this excellent CD is unapologetically retro.

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