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Kansas - Monolith CD (album) cover

MONOLITH

Kansas

 

Symphonic Prog

3.19 | 322 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Angels may have fallen, but stayin' out of trouble

After two studio masterpieces in a row in Leftoverture and Point Of Know Return followed by the live masterpiece Two For The Show, it is not too surprising that Kansas would eventually deliver a lesser album. And 1979's Monolith is indeed a far cry from those great preceding albums. However, seen in the wider perspective of Kansas' entire output up to this point, Monolith is not a bad album at all. I would say that it is up to par with the band's self-titled 1974 debut and better than 1975's Masque. Furthermore, it is better than the albums that followed during the early 80's.

Kerry Livgren wrote so very many fantastic songs present for previous Kansas albums, so it is understandable that sooner or later his inspiration would start to fade, and the Monolith material showed the first signs of the decline. But a decline from the highest of peaks does not mean that this is not still good and thoroughly enjoyable music. Three of the songs were written by Steve Walsh alone and a fourth is credited to him together with Robby Steinhardt and Rich Williams. Livgren's songs are generally the best ones, but the Walsh number Angels Have Fallen is a wonderful duet between Steinhardt and Walsh. The best tracks include opener On The Other Side, Angels Have Fallen, A Glimpse Of Home and the closer Reason To Be. The weakest track is Stay Out Of Trouble.

The band decided to produce this album themselves instead of relying on Jeff Glixman and they did a good job even if it is never the same as Glixman's brilliant production work. Some of the songs are related to a native American tradition, so this might be seen as a very loose concept album. The art work features native Americans wearing space helmets!

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |

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