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Kansas - Somewhere to Elsewhere CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.51 | 284 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
2 stars The year 2000 saw more than the notorious Y2K scare worldwide, it turns out it was also the year that one of the USA's most revered symphonic prog bands decided to reunite with a their classic 70s lineup. The result was enough to get the prog world whipped into a frenzy and drooling for more classic tracks a la 'Carry On My Wayward Son,' 'Point Of Know Return' and 'Dust In The Wind.' While the classic lineup of Steve Walsh (vocals), Rich Williams (guitar), Phil Ehart (drums), Dave Hope (bass), Kerry Livgen (keyboards), Rich Williams (guitar) and Robby Steinhardt (violin, viola) is back for their 13th studio album SOMEWHERE TO ELSEWHERE, strictly speaking this is a reunion plus one since Billy Greer who joined the band for the 'Power' album is along for the ride.

This is one of those albums that sounds exciting on paper but i actually found it a chore to get through it. The first thing that's noticeable upon first listen is how wretched sounding Steve Walsh's vocal abilities have become. In fact it doesn't even sound like him and there are moments that make me think i'm hearing Don Henley instead. If that wasn't bad enough i don't find any of the songs memorable either. This is symphonic prog by the numbers and there isn't even spark of the passion that made the early years so exciting. The band sounds totally out of practice and not into it at all. The songwriting has certain moments that seem like they're ready to go somewhere interesting but i always feel disappointed and there are no outbursts of virtuosity or surprises of any kind.

I have never found any of KANSAS' output after 'Point Of Know Return' to really excite me save a track here and there. The musical magic that they had on their run from the debut and following three albums seemed to have dissipated when many prog bands were steering towards top 40 AOR sounds. This album sounds more like one of those worst of the 80s AOR disasters. I actually love AOR when the songwriting is good and supports the slow and emotional performances but every time Steve Walsh utters a note on this one just makes me cringe! I can't believe they bothered to record this stuff at such substandard quality. I don't want to say this is totally a waste of time for anyone who enjoyed KANSAS after their heyday might dig some of this but for me i have no desire to hear this again. A highly disappointing reunion album that makes the Yes 'Union' sound classic in comparison. For hardcore fans only.

siLLy puPPy | 2/5 |


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