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Kansas - Point Of Know Return CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.15 | 704 ratings

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5 stars I have been at PA now three years and never reviewed this most famous CD by one of my most favorite bands now in its 30th anniversary year. There a lot of words and stars assigned to this quadruple platinum selling album. 4 million, I mean that is staggering number of albums not that makes this album better becasue of that. Mostly what is said is it is 5 stars although some very obvious Kansas fans have rated as low as 2 so I hope I can add something that maybe was not said already.

Following up the equally successful Leftoverature Kansas was now not a struggling band trying to make it they were on top of the musical world when they went in to record this. Of course being on top brings its own set of pressures and problems. Like we need to make a song as strong or stronger(or more commercial if you like) than "Carry On" to satisfy the record company.

As "Carry On" was an add on at the last minute to LO so "Dust in Wind" was even more improbable to become a hit. First of all they had recorded only one other ballad so it was unique to them. It is also their only all acoustic song in their collection. Also the fact that it was originally a guitar exercise Rich Williams and Kerry Livgren used to warm up makes it even more improbable. This is the song people point to to criticize this album. Because A. it wasn't a prog song and B. it became the biggest hit Kansas ever did. It crossed over many genre lines for airplay and surely a song like that cannot be considered prog so it taints the whole rest of this album. If that is your opinion then you are going to miss out on some great music.

Kansas was at the top of their game both compositionally and at the peak of their playing prowess. On top of that they were now afforded the best recording studios. Added all together that can usually make one thing happen, a pretty fantastic album. That is what we have here. It's rock songs are certainly rock songs "Sparks of the Tempest", "Lightnings Hand", "Portrait" and "Point of Know Return" but they are great songs played with skill! Mix in those with prog tracks "Closet Chronicles", "Nobody's Home", "Paradox", "The Spider" and the great "Hopelessly Human" it is a most satisfying listen.

Sure some of the tracks are shorter by a minute or two than things they did in the past but they make up for it with such tight playing it is astonishing sometimes. Steve Walsh's voice would never be better than this and his keyboard playing had reached his peak. Kerry Livgren had grown as guitarist,keyboard player and writer, Robby Stienhardt's violin would never be more soulful and Rich Williams, Dave Hope and Phil Erhart drive the point home to you.

Rest assured this is "The Pinnacle" of Kansas success. Yes there would still be some good songs in the future but nothing again would be as cohesive. Soon Steve Walsh would start listening to the whispers that maybe he would be better off a solo rock singer and Kerry would finalize his conversion to Christianity and this band would never be the same again.

If you don't know Kansas this isn't a bad place to start. They really had an amazing journey from 1974-1977. 5 great albums in three years topped off by this one what a wonderful run. 5 Stars.

Garion81 | 5/5 |


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