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Kansas - Leftoverture CD (album) cover

LEFTOVERTURE

Kansas

 

Symphonic Prog

4.21 | 665 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Scapler
5 stars Ah, yes, the masterpiece of the American prog masters. Kansas' fourth album was released in 1976, an album that would possibly determine the fate of the band's remaining musical career. Kansas needed an amazing success to keep them attached to their record label, and they miraculously found it in Leftoverture. Kerry Livgren was able to keep the Kansas style while making the music more accessible (as well as inserting his recent Christian conversion), and consequentially, more popular. Though Livgren and Kansas were looking for a broader audience, it did not stop them from making an amazing prog album.

"Carry on Wayward Son"-Kansas' most overplayed and over commercialized songs. Though the song (ironically added to the album at the last minute) was not Kansas' best example of progressive rock potential, it became their first huge hit. And it's damn catchy too! Despite its more accessible feel, the song still has great music and excellent instrumentalists at its core.

The rest of the album highlights Kansas at their best. "The Wall" is a deep spiritual journey, and though slightly less intricate than previous Kansas songs of similar quality, it achieves the same emotional, epic appeal. "What's On My Mind" is another catchy song done as only Kansas can do. Following it is perhaps the deepest song on the album, "Miracles Out Of Nowhere" Coming in with skilful Violin, it fades into a guitar and haunting lyrics. Exemplifying the best they have to offer, Kansas produces a compelling and epical atmosphere. The addition of synth horns is a unique offering on the song. Next is "Opus Insert", an often overlooked song on the album, however, it stands strong like all songs on the album, with one of the most distractingly giddy instrumentals breaking its flow in the middle. Next is the also giddy and synth-happy "Questions of My Childhood", a short sporadic song before "Cheyenne Anthem", a beautiful perspective on American/Indian relations. Out of all the songs on the album, the haunting lyrics of Cheyenne Anthem stuck with me the most. The final chapter is "Magnum Opus", opening with percussion anyone would be proud of, the rest of the song takes off as a hectic movement through some of the most brilliant composition the band has ever done (thus the naming of it as an Opus-amazing!)

Leftoverture is Kansas at its best. Like all of their music, Kansas flawlessly stitches together progressive rock with elements of American country (though thankfully coming out as a unique sounding prog rock band) to create a masterpiece that will be remembered as their greatest work.

Scapler | 5/5 |

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