‘It’s just noticing what’s happening’: Lee Loughnane on Chicago’s politically charged new song

Chicago was, in its earliest incarnation, known for songs of striking political commentary — before a turn toward romantic balladry into the late 1970s.

Some long-waited new music changes that.

“America,” the group’s newly issued single, sounds an alarm about how the on-going financial crisis, lingering concerns over racial and cultural differences, and general voter apathy could signal the end the country as we know it.

However, trumpeter Lee Loughnane, author of “America,” isn’t inclined to describe the song as political, per se.

“I guess you could call it politically active — but really, it’s just noticing what’s happening on a day-to-day basis,” the Chicago co-founder tells AM900 in this clip. “It’s more of a social commentary than it is a call to political action.”

Whatever it’s labeled, the song is among Chicago’s first new music since 2006, and it has already gained airplay at baseball games played by the Los Angeles Dodgers. The band’s last full-length original release was Chicago XXX.

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