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Too Many Voices

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Album Review

In the occasional solo albums he has released to punctuate his ongoing, longtime career as a singer/songwriter and keyboardist with Chicago, Robert Lamm has tended to explore the byways of his talent, avoiding music that sounded like his band, but often making music that sounded like other artists on the charts at the time the disc was recorded. By 2004's Too Many Voices (which is actually a revised, expanded version of the 1999 album In My Head), however, with Chicago rarely recording new albums, he seemed to simply be writing and recording what he liked, including songs and tracks that might have been appropriate for the group. Not that he has allowed himself to get old-fashioned. The sound of Too Many Voices usually reflects contemporary technology in its dense keyboard-based tracks with their heavy drums sounds. But the songs are closer to vintage Lamm (which is to say, reminiscent of some of Chicago's earliest work when he was the dominant songwriter) than an attempt to steer clear of his legacy. This is an artist happy to display the influence of the Beach Boys and the Beatles in the vocal harmonies and song structures, and one who, like the Lamm of old, ponders the current state of the world while also plainly expressing romantic devotion. In the former category, for example, is "Will People Ever Change?," a philosophical speculation on a direct line from an earlier Lamm composition like "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" Lamm's love songs, meanwhile, come off as heartfelt, particularly "Standing at Your Door," and he is assisted by duet partner Phoebe Snow on such songs as "The Best Thing" and "Hold on 'Til Forever." His own voice is versatile, as usual, ranging from a calm, clear croon on the seemingly autobiographical closer "Watching the Time" (actually written by Carl Wilson and Gerry Beckley) to a gritty, soulful growl on the Motown-like "Good Lovin' Ain't Easy to Come By," which precedes it.

Biography

Born: 13 October 1944 in New York, NY

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

Brooklyn-born keyboardist/vocalist Robert Lamm may be best known for his tenure in Chicago, but his involvement in music began when he was a child, playing piano by ear and singing in the Brooklyn Heights choir. Lamm played in bands while in high school and went to Roosevelt University in Chicago to study theory and composition; early in 1967, he joined Chicago the band, beginning a phase of his career that lasted over three decades. While with the...
Full bio
Too Many Voices, Robert Lamm
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  • 8,99 €
  • Genres: Pop, Music
  • Released: 29 April 2004

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