12 Songs, 51 Minutes


Ratings and Reviews

4.2 out of 5
32 Ratings

32 Ratings

jcbroadbent ,

This album is about me...

Critics have universally panned this album, and to be honest, I don't think it's the disaster that they say. But... I am very biased when it comes to Chicago's "Twenty 1" because it came out one week after a devastating breakup with my first real girlfriend, and the one that I thought i would be spending the rest of my life with. I was emotionally in tatters when I put this disc in my CD player for the first time, and it spoke to me. I couldn't believe how they had found out exactly how I was feeling, wrote a few songs about it and put it out just a week after my heart was broken. Explain It To My Heart, If It Were You, Somebody Somewhere, and What Does it Take may not be great songs, but they were very impactful on me. Looking at it from a strictly musical point of view, Twenty 1 doesn't really have much to offer. As songs, I do like What Does It take, and Somebody Somewhere. Holdin On was pretty typical of the power ballads Chicago had been putting out for several years. James Pankow, the genius who wrote large portions of the early Chicago albums, had been relegated to one song per album in later years, and his God Save The Queen is powerful and funky, if not a little overly preachy. (In that sense, it's reminiscent of early Chicago. Anyone remember Dialog 1 & 2?) And that's about it. The rest of the songs are pretty much a waste of 4 minutes of your life. I have to admit that I hate Jason Scheff's voice -- it's screechy and whiny. They tried in vain to disguise the fact that he is so often off key by burying his lead vocals with a chorus of background vocals. Instead of trying to replace Peter Cetera with someone that kinda sounded like him, they should've just found a great singer, which Jason isn't. This isn't a great album. It's not even a very good album, but it does have a few listenable songs, and it has special meaning for me...

sportboy6 ,

The Weakest Album of the Post-Terry Kath Era

This album was released in early 1991 while the face of music was undergoing a radical change from synth drums and keyboards and digital, antiseptic sounds to the new Seattle sounds that were earthier, harder, darker, and brooding. This album gives us more Eighties power ballads as the singles. "Chasin' The Wind", the first single, barely has a horn arrangement to make it recognizable as a Chicago song. Robert Lamm's written offerings, "One From The Heart" and "Only Time Can Heal The Wounded" make this vaguely sound like a Chicago album. "If It Were You" is passable pop-rock. "God Save The Queen" comes across as a heavy handed message. Chicago, if they have something politically to say, come across better when the message is more subtle. The remaining tracks could have been given to almost any Eighties pop group and be just as forgetable and undistinguishable. Because of the poor critical and public reception to this album, Chicago decided to make an album on their own terms instead of something that radio program directors and recored companies wanted them to make. That would be Stone Of Sisyphus. An album that would have more life, energy, and creativity than this "play it safe" album.

JeffH. ,

Great CD!!!

Don't listen to these bad reviews! This to me is one great cd! Diana Warren wrote a few songs on here.Explain It To My Heart is a well written power ballad! This cd is full of power ballads! Great cd!!!

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