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Kansas - Leftoverture CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.22 | 1014 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars At the time I purchased "Leftoverture" (in 1975) , I thought it was the follow-up of "Song For America" which I was really found of. In those days there was not that much publicity for a band like Kansas in Europe (I live in Belgium). The design of the cover artwork is rather creative and original.

"Carry On My Wayward Son" is a classic Kansas opening track : very good musicianship, high-pitched but strong vocals. Actually, a great hard-rock song. It will be one of of their standards for the years to come and their first real hit-single.

"The Wall" is a beautiful song : very melodious and charming more in the style of their earlier work. Vocals are quite emotional and the background violin is just superb. A wonderful piano break in the middle-part demontrates how refined this band could be. A really beautiful song.

"What's On My Mind" is a pure hard rock song. It reminds me of "Down the Road" : good riff and guitar break, great rythmics. Another Purple influenced track, I would say. With "Miracles out of Nowhere" we enter again into the world of Kansas : a longer composition, very harmonious vocals, mellow chorus, lots of research in the instrumental backgrounds. But something is missing to make it a real great song. Maybe too sweet, although the last 1'30" is quite rocky and really fabulous.

B-side of the vinyl starts with "Opus Insert". Another good rock tune : at times heavier but almost classical at others. Nice finale. The intro of "Questions Of My Childhood" is rather promising but the song as such is probably the weakest track of the album (but there is always a weaker track on an album, right) ? This works almost as a filler but since the track is very short, there is not too many damage.

I would have hoped more from "Cheyenne Anthem", a vibrant homage to this great Indian nation extermined by the white man. Even if the lyrics are explicit, the song is mellowish and a bit (too) repetitive. The second part features a nice instrumental break.

The closing number "Magnum Opus" stars with a "Indian" flavour. Great and extended musical intro (like they produced on "Song For America"). At itmes, this number sounds as if Keith Emerson is playing the keys (a bit pompous if you see what I mean). It is a complex song with lots of theme changes. Hard-rocking for most of it with strong guitar work. Most of this number is instrumental (which is fine with me). Very strong and (almost) violent second half. A very nice way to close this good album.

At the time I purchased this album, I far much preferred "Song For America" (probably their progiest effort) and was a some kind of disappointed with this one. At the time of this review (some thirty years later), the same impression applies. Although there is not a single weak track, true highlights are too scarce to make this one a masterpiece. Still, a very good and solid album. The remastered CD features two live versions of which "Cheyenne Anthem" sounds pretty good. Four stars.

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |


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