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Kansas - Song For America CD (album) cover

SONG FOR AMERICA

Kansas

 

Symphonic Prog

4.15 | 458 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Flucktrot
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Kansas simultaneously improves and backpedals after their impressive debut. The proggy pieces have better lyrics and themes, but the actual music just doesn't have the same bit in places. The rock songs are enjoyable and well-written again, but some of the essential rawness has been sucked out of them. The result is another solid album that only realizes the full potential of Kansas in spots. Not to worry, they would improve on some of this later!

Down the Road, Lonely Street, The Devil Game. These are the rockers, and all are good. I like Down the Road the best (as opposed to many other reviewers), because they are quite good at hard driving rock, and Robby's voice matches the song perfectly. As much as I respect Walsh, he just sounds a little out of place on the other two rockers. The slow-paced, bluesy Lonely Street and time-signature-shifting Devil Game have interesting concepts and create effective imagery of Great Plains, small-town Americana, but they just seem a bit forced, for reasons that I can't quite describe.

Song for America. They hit a home run with this baby--one of my top 10 prog songs. This actually seems very Yes-like in its positive melody and progression, but it's still uniquely Kansas. I wouldn't change a thing about it: incredible melodies, gorgeous instrumentation, and powerful lyrics. I've traveled through much of the American west and midwest, and I have similar feelings about the costs of progress, both environmentally and spiritually.

Lamplight Symphony. Cool lyrics about life after losing a loved one, but the music isn't as effective. For some reason, we don't have any of the energetic interplay that I love so much about Kansas.

Incomudro. The closer falls between the other two epics in quality. We've got a decent melody, an enjoyable drum solo, a waltzy section, and a creative keyboard/synth section, which are all good but not excellent. Fortunately, Kansas keeps up its trend of ending the album with an uptempo explosion of rock, leaving me with a good taste for the album every time.

Worth the price for the title track, Song for America is solid all the way through and should be a part of serious symphonic prog collectors.

Flucktrot | 4/5 |

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