Since wrapping up the '80s with a lucrative revival that introduced a new generation of fans to their music, the guys in Chicago have spent the last 20 years focusing on their live act -- but it looks like they might be gearing up to release a new album.

While they haven't put out a lot of new material since 2006's 'Chicago XXX,' the band has been busy in the studio re-recording earlier songs. Founding member Robert Lamm and longtime bassist Jason Scheff are outspoken proponents of using newer technology to speed up the creative process, which might explain why the group decided to post a pair of works in progress to its newly created SoundCloud page.

Offering snippets of a pair of new songs, titled 'Somethin' Comin, I Know' and 'Watching All the Colors,' Lamm told fans, "Yep, pre- real horns, but conceptually complete...and well, pre- sweetening, mix/mastering. It'll be a blast to hear the differences when we unveil the final Chicago masters in the near future. Enjoy!"

"Near future" has become something of a bittersweet concept for longtime fans who endured the bulk of the '90s and aughts without new Chicago music while continually reading promises from band members who insisted another studio album was just around the corner, but Lamm's willingness to open an early window into the recording process could signal a shift in creative philosophies -- especially since he's been something of a frustratingly marginalized presence on recent albums.

Read Lamm's notes on the new songs at the band's official site, and listen to the posted portions below.

Hear Chicago's 'Somethin' Comin', I Know' and 'Watching All the Colors'