Illumination

Illumination

5.0 1
by Earth, Wind & Fire
     
 

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Following 2003's The Promise, Earth, Wind & Fire went back to the studio and refined and updated their approach to music with a more contemporary neo-soul sound on Illumination, and the gamble paid off plentifully, as it's one of the group's freshest and most fully realized album since the glory years of the '70s, when

Overview

Following 2003's The Promise, Earth, Wind & Fire went back to the studio and refined and updated their approach to music with a more contemporary neo-soul sound on Illumination, and the gamble paid off plentifully, as it's one of the group's freshest and most fully realized album since the glory years of the '70s, when the group was releasing one timeless single after another. What makes Illumination work so well is their approach to staying contemporary without looking ridiculous in the process. The production from start to finish is polished and ready for prime time urban radio airplay, while still maintaining a sensibility of the old-school sound that made it work in the first place. Guest appearances are the norm, rather than the exception, with nonstop cameos from a wide range of artists, from OutKast and the Black Eyed Peas' will.i.am all the way to soft rock horn tooter Kenny G. But the crown jewel of the album is unquestionably the eight-minute jam "Show Me the Way," with Raphael Saadiq handling lead vocals in a way that should make Maurice White blush with pride, confident in the knowledge his influence is very much alive and well in the next generation of soul musicians. The album's final pieces are puzzling, as Brian McKnight's eloquent appearance on the ballad "To You" is roughly knocked out of place as the fitting closer by a smooth jazz cover of OutKast's "The Way You Move," an ill-fitting move for an otherwise outstanding record. Sequencing error aside, Illumination is the musical defibrillator other aging soul musicians should grab a hold of and take note.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/20/2005
Label:
Sanctuary Records
UPC:
0060768751323
catalogNumber:
87513
Rank:
63922

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Earth, Wind & Fire   Primary Artist
Philip Bailey   Percussion,Bongos,Vocals,Background Vocals
Maurice White   Guitar,Percussion,Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals,Kalimba
Bobby Ross Avila   Guitar,Keyboards,fender rhodes
Brian McKnight   Vocals,Background Vocals
Gary Bias   Saxophone
Preston Crump   Bass
Gary Grant   Trumpet
Jerry Hey   Trumpet
Jimmy Jam   fender rhodes
Greg Moore   Guitar
Neil Pogue   Percussion
Dave Robbins   Keyboards
Bobby Rodriguez   Trumpet
Shorty B.   Guitar
Verdine White   Bass,Kalimba
Raphael Saadiq   Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Piano,Vocals,Background Vocals
Prof. T.   Background Vocals
Reggie C. Young   Trombone
Kelvin Wooten   Bass,Keyboards
Myron McKinley   Keyboards
will.i.am   Vocals,Background Vocals
Kelly Rowland   Vocals
South Central Chamber Orchestra   Strings
Nolan Shaheed   Trumpet
Cameron Marcarelli   Horn Engineer
Vikter Duplaix   Keyboards,Synthesizer Bass
Sleepy Brown   Piano,Vocals,Background Vocals
Ralph Boyd Johnson   Percussion
Marsha Ambrosius   Background Vocals
Junius Bervine   Keyboards
Jeff Bradshaw   Trombone
Matt Cappy   Trumpet
Khari Parker   Drums
Natalie Stewart   Vocals
Robert Ozuna   Percussion,Drums
Prescott Ellison   Drums
Chimere Scott   Background Vocals
Doc Holiday   Background Vocals
Keith Harris   Drums,Keyboards

Technical Credits

Philip Bailey   Producer,Executive Producer
Maurice White   Producer,Executive Producer
Bill Meyers   Producer,Horn Arrangements,Orchestral Arrangements
Bobby Ross Avila   Composer,Producer
Brian McKnight   Producer
James Bailey   Composer
Ray Brown   Horn Arrangements
Charles Veal   Orchestral Arrangements
Jerry Hey   Arranger,Horn Arrangements
Jimmy Jam   Producer,Horn Arrangements,Audio Production
Charnessa Jones   Engineer
Terry Lewis   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Organized Noize   Programming,Producer,drum programming
Neil Pogue   Engineer
Raphael Saadiq   Composer,Producer,Horn Arrangements,Audio Production
Walter Afanasieff   Arranger,Producer
Davett Singletary   Marketing Consultant
Jimmy Randolph   Engineer
Kelvin Wooten   Composer,String Arrangements
Sean Davis   Engineer
P. Brown   Composer
will.i.am   Composer,Programming,Producer
Keith Pelzer   Producer,Engineer,Instrumentation
Cameron Marcarelli   Engineer
Vikter Duplaix   Producer,drum programming
Gerry "The Gov" Brown   Engineer
Ray Murray   Engineer
Jeff Bradshaw   Horn Arrangements
Matt Cappy   Horn Arrangements
Montina Cooper   Vocal Producer
Darren "Limitless" Henson   Producer,Engineer,Instrumentation
B. Bennett   Composer
John Tanksley   Engineer
Taura "Aura" Jackson   Composer
Doc Holiday   Vocal Producer
Chris Bell   Engineer
Keith Harris   Composer,Producer,Horn Arrangements
Chris Wood   Engineer
Ian Cross   Engineer

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Illumination 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow! I can't get enough of this CD.I grew up with this R&B band in the 70s and finally saw them in concert with Chicago a month ago. I was just in heaven. It was a fantastic concert. This new disc is fabulous with the grooves you associate with Earth Wind and Fire. Show Me the Way is sure to be a hit. This group still has it folks. You will not be disappointed.