Chicago offers insight into the construction of new song “Naked In The Garden Of Allah”

Chicago continues to offer fans unprecedented access into the progress of their long-awaited new project, as co-founding member Robert Lamm posts the step-by-step construction of a track called “Naked in the Garden of Allah.”

Chicago, which somehow has put out just one album of newly recorded original material over the last two decades, is suddenly on a tear. Just last week, they posted previews of two other unfinished tracks, called “Somethin’ Comin,’ I Know” and “Watching All the Colors.” Lamm and Co.’s most recent release was XXXII: Stone of Sisyphus, a previously shelved early-1990s album that finally saw the light of day in 2008. Their most recent recording featuring all-new songs goes back even further, to 2006’s XXX.

Over the weekend, Lamm began by posting clips of the basic track for “Naked In The Garden Of Allah,” heard above, as it became conceptually complete — but without the group’s legendary horns. Lamm says the musical origins of the tune go back to the 1990s, with a narrative added in 2011 after the U.S.’s final troop surge into Afghanistan.

Along the way, “Naked In The Garden Of Allah” reanimates a much earlier period for Chicago in general — and Lamm (who, during the group’s early-1970s heyday, penned some cutting anti-Vietnam War songs), in particular. The lyrics, and the song’s turbulent textures, speak to both the horrors of war and to Lamm’s enduring pleas for peace: “How did we get to this,” Lamm asks, in the notes area of the upload, before adding: “I know. I remember.”

Today, he’s added a fascinating moment of creativity in miniature, by sharing the initial brass elements as sketched out by Trent Gardner — giving us a fuller idea of how this song will ultimately sound, once it’s complete.

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Nick DeRiso

Over a 30-year career, Nick DeRiso has also explored music for USA Today, All About Jazz, Ultimate Classic Rock and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the nation by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Contact him at nderiso@somethingelsereviews.com.
  • http://bloggerhythms.blogspot.com Charlie

    Well, judging by the horn sounds and the subject matter we may actually be getting some Chicago music worth listening too. Hopefully there are no power ballads. I may actually be interested.