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Kansas - Song For America CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.14 | 725 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars This album, along with Leftoverture, holds a special place in my heart. In fact, if it hadn't been for those two albums (among a small handful of a couple others) I probably wouldn't still be listening to progressive rock to this day. Pretty much everything I could ask for in an album is here: strong emotions, power, multi-layered, and a prog ballad or two thrown in there. I often think that Kansas doesn't get enough respect on this site, because I consider them to be one of the founders of progressive rock. Part of the reason may be because they happened to come from America, and not Britain, but that's a discussion for another time. I love all of Kansas' first five albums to death, but this is clearly my favorite behind Leftoverture. Now onto the songs themselves.

1. Down the Road - This song is more of an AOR song than a full-blown prog song, like Carry on Wayward Son or Dust in the Wind. Although I might actually like this song more than either of the previous two. Still a solid track though and a good opener, although probably my least favorite song on the album. 8.5/10

2. Song for America - The title track, and proof that Kansas belongs up on the same tier as Genesis, Yes, etc. This song is a mini-suite of sorts, an absolutely fantastic intro which blew me away the first time I ever heard it. It even still does a little bit every time I listen to it. The bass/drum/violin that comes in around 2:35 gives me one of those "on top of the world feelings" right before some vocals come in. At about 4 minutes we get a section of bass and piano going back and forth with each other. This is one of those songs that must be heard to be believed. It WILL take your breath away. 10+/10

3. Lamplight Symphony - Starts with a drum roll before moving into a violin section with the drums providing filling in the background. Another violin solo comes in around 3:05. This song is chock-full of great violin and practically screams Kansas the entire way through. Possibly my favorite song on the album. 10+/10

4. Lonely Street - This song is very blues-y, from the lyrics to the sound. It feels like a good blues/rock ballad even though it only clocks in a little less than 6 minutes. The blues guitar solo comes in at about 3 minutes and is also a great mix of the heartland feel of Kansas. 10/10

5. The Devil Game - Opens with a wailing violin sound accompanied by somewhat funky guitar and drums. The guitar solo at 1:25 is very heavily rock-based and has a "screaming guitar" effect to it. A very high energy song and a great counterpoint to the previous song. 10/10

6. Incumudro: Hymn to the Atman - Starts with great piano and keyboards as well as heavy drums in the background before Hope comes in with a soft bass line. One of the most underrated bassists ever in my opinion. This is a song where he really gets a chance to shine as well. Neat keyboard solo comes in at 3:10, followed by a violin solo. At 4:35 the guitar starts to move us away from a somber feeling to a happier, upbeat feeling, with bass, keyboards, and drums carrying us through that. A drum solo comes in just before 7 minutes that is guaranteed to kick your ass. It's absolutely stellar and very tight yet well-controlled. This is probably my favorite song on the album along with Lamplight Symphony. It's impossible for me to pick one over the other. 10+/10

Overall, a great work by a highly underrated band on this website. I can't think of any type of prog fan who I couldn't recommend this to. If it isn't already in your collection, you need to rectify that as soon as possible, because you're missing out on a great symphonic masterpiece. This is one of those albums where I wish the scale went higher than 5 stars, because it deserves even more than that. Terrific album through and through and not a single dull moment. 5+/5 stars.

horsewithteeth11 | 5/5 |


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