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Kansas - Masque CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.66 | 544 ratings

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3 stars Originally, I praised this one higher because which progressive band could produce a bad in album in 1975 especially between two masterpieces like Song for America and Left Overture? I can assure you that even after repeated listens, the cover is the only terrible thing about this album. The downside for most of us is that this LP is less progressive than Song for America and Kansas and the performance seems less inspired. The AOR mood of most of the songs is not necessarily bad for those who enjoy any well designed and executed music.

The first song kicks off with energy in the AOR vein and good riffing. "Two cents worth" is a nice exploration into more a more soulful mid 70's territory of Steely Dan/Stevie Wonder, it has a unique feel unheard from any other song by Kansas, well done. "Icarus Born on the Wings of Steel" is the first progressive albeit a bit restrained composition where main shredders - Walsh and Steinhardt have some space to show off. As each song, the vocals by Walsh are excellent. "All of the world"'s length looks promising but it barely scratches the progressive territory and keeps itself more in AOR area, a wasted chance really. Even "Child of innocence" with its infectious energy and performance beats the previous song. "It's you" is a not too remarkable and thankfully short boogie song to keep energy going. Before the pinnacle called "The pinnacle", the band serve an aperitif "Mysteries and mayhem" featuring a clear melody motive but accompanied with very good and inventive instrumentation, this one could have been longer. "The pinnacle" is yet another gem in Kansas progressive catalogue and Steve Walsh shines here with the vast array of instruments ranging from Hammond, ARP, moog and clavinet. Inventive though technically not too difficult keyboard lines impress me each time I hear this masterpiece. The minor chords add to the emotional Walsh vocal.

I tried to find enough quality to award four stars but to be fair to other band's albums, only three can be guaranteed. The album is a bit uneven and lacks more inspiration seen before and later ;).

sgtpepper | 3/5 |


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