HIGH FIDELITY magazine, 
Review by CHRISTOPHER PETKANAS, October, 1979

CHIC: Risqué

Chic didn't need yet another spanking clean and directional effort to confirm it's membership in the disco pantheon, but that's certainly what it has done with "Risqué." Ironically enough, a mere four years ago guitarist Nile Rodgers and bassist Bernard Edwards-who write, produce, conduct and arrange all of the quintet's material-were putting their talents into a punk outfit called the Big Apple Band. Today they have a reserved seat on the charts alongside the likes of Village People and Donna Summer.

Chic sports a durable and optimistic signature sound that, unlike much of what is commonly heard in discos, does not intimidate with electronic calisthenics. The single Good Times grips, but does not assault, with crisp, potent hand claps, propelling guitar work, and a string section that neatly slices the song into sections. Singers Alfa Anderson and Luci Martin are treated as musical components: neither emerges as a distinctive personality. After all, the success of the group is founded, in part, on an ensemble identity.

A Warm Summer Night is a mindless ballad that suffers from bland eroticism, while Forbidden Lover is driven by bright, snappy vocals and a persistent, prominently defined rhythmic line. Sophisticated funk is paired with an aggressive, hard-hitting handling of lyrics on Can't Stand To Love Ya. Anderson's intensely dramatic attitude on Will You Cry is inappropriate, but the achingly simple What About Me takes on vibrancy and sincerity in the hands of these masterly technicians (including the redoubtable Tony Thompson on drums).

If Rodgers and Edwards had turned out nothing else this year but the blockbuster Sister Sledge album, "We Are Family," their disco eminence would hardly have slackened. Perhaps one of the reasons they maintain a deliberately low profile is so they can continue to explore interests exclusive of Chic. Besides, musical wealth deserves to be shared.