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Kansas - Masque CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.69 | 391 ratings

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Equality 7-2521
2 stars I don't see how people herald Masque as a shinning example of Kansas' progressive credentials. After tiring of too many listens of PoKR and Leftoverture I finally decided it was well time I bit into the real prog side of Kansas and I bought Masque. I've been very disappointed since the first listen. Not only do I find this music more indoctrinated with hard rock/AOR than their later efforts, but the song writing falls short of their later releases.

The prog elements I do find here come off rather gimmicky, such as needless synth solos that travel on far too long and instrumental and an attempt to make everything sound epic with over the top sing-a-long choruses. The album starts off with the worst song I've heard from the band, a desperate attempt at a top 40 hit. Pure hard rock with the most stereotypical piano and saxophone I've heard. The rest of the album isn't much different than this song really, except marginally better and with stereotypical prog-rock moments thrown on top of the hard rock.

The viewers of this website will find worth in the three most well known songs from the album: Icarus, All The World, and The Pinnacle. These constitute by far the most progressive efforts on the album. All three are over the top epics that most prog fans should enjoy. Hard rocking, country influenced, long instrumental sections, lots of keyboard and violin. Although I feel all three run longer than needed, and all three also bear the problem of vocals that are rather empty and something I'd expect out of Boston rather than a band here.

I'll never consider Kansas to be in the top echelon of progressive artists. Their influence by the greats of the decade are all too apparent and they compositionally never reach with arms length of bands like King Crimson, VdGG, or Genesis. Leftoverture and TPoKR have gained fame as Kansas best albums for a reason and all except the upper tier of the bands fans, or those who tend to like AOR and hard rock influences, should avoid this album.

Equality 7-2521 | 2/5 |


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