Rolling Stone - 3/19/92, p.893.5 Stars
- Very Good - "...a luscious mix of sophisticated soul and haunting street beats updated to challenge the retro-disco mood sweeping the contemporary dance scene...an irresistable, eclectic sound..."
Spin - 5/92, p.80
Highly Recommended - "...refreshingly sophisticated...musically complete...ballads better than Whitney, house hipper than C&C Music Factory, and funk fatter than the Brand New Heavies..."
Entertainment Weekly - 3/27/92, p.76
"...songs like the elegant club hit 'Chic Mystique' revive the nightlife vibe--complete with real live orchestra--and make it funkier for the 90's..." - Rating: B+
Q - 4/92, p.723 Stars
- Good - "...sounds like they never went away at all..."
Chic: Sylver Logan Sharp, Jenn Thomas (vocals); Nile Rodgers (guitar, vocals); Bernard Edwards (bass, vocals).
Additional personnel: Princesa (rap); Steve Elson (soprano, tenor & baritone saxophones); Stan Harrison (alto & tenor saxophones); Mac Gollehon (trumpet, flugelhorn); Richard Hilton (keyboards, programming); Sonny Emory, Sterling Campbell (drums); Gerardo Velez (percussion); Andres Levin (programming); Fonzi Thornton, Michelle Cobbs, Brenda White-King, Tawatha Agee, Dennis Collins, Briz (background vocals).
Strings: Elena Barere, Marti Sweet, Juliet Haffner, Mitsue Takayama, Julien Barbar, Frederick Zlotkin, Richard Locker, Max Ellen, Al Brown, Winterton Garvey, Regis Iandiorio, Gerald Tarack, Matthew Raimondi, Richard Sortomme.
Engineers: Jon Goldberger, David O'Donnell, Steve Boyer, Patrick Dillett, Richard Hilton, Tom Durack.
Recorded at Skyline Studios and The Power Station, New York.
All songs written by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers except "Chic Mystique," "Something You Can Feel" and "Chicism" (Nile Rodgers/Bernard Edwards/Princesa).
While the death of disco in the late '70s appeared to be a doom sentence for bands like Chic, for group leaders Nile Rogers and Bernard Edwards it presented a unique opportunity to stretch out into production for artists as diverse as the B-52's, Diana Ross, and Robert Palmer, and star-studded side-projects such as the Honeydrippers and Power Station. Even as hip-hop and dance music usurped many of Chic's skeletal funk innovations in the '80s, the group remained a vital behind-the-scenes influence for many of those styles. By 1992, the timing seemed right for a reunion of sorts, and CHIC-ISM (the group's final studio album) doesn't miss a beat with its of-the-era contemporary R&B and house sound. While not breaking any new ground, songs like "High" (almost a reprise of "Good Times") and the strings-driven instrumental "M.M.F.T.C.F" are a compelling recap of what made Chic's hit-making formula so enjoyable in the first place.