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Kansas - Song For America CD (album) cover

SONG FOR AMERICA

Kansas

 

Symphonic Prog

4.15 | 453 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

dalt99
5 stars Very good review of this album by Proghead that I pretty much would echo but let add a few things.

One thing that bothers me about people who don't give Kansas much attention because they believe them (along with Rush to some extent) to not be a "real" progressive rock band forget one thing: The term 'Progressive Rock' has the word ROCK in it. Progressive rock is not only defined by Yes, King Crimson, Gentle Giant and ELP. Some bands can be lighter rock or more symphonic like the Pink Floyd and Genesis, other more harder edged with guitar and organ such as Kansas and Rush. In fact sometimes I wish there were more bands willing to try for the more rock aspect of progressive (without going into metal territory). Anyways with that said, Song For America is not just a heavy guitar album with some progressive leanings. 3 of the songs are square in the 'progressive' genre.

The album starts off however with the good boogie rocker "Down the Road" then follows it with possibly the best of the unknown prog songs by Kansas. "Song For America" is a highlight of the genre. I love progressive songs that begin with a catchy yet complex melody and while the tempo may change throughout and the solos will come, the melody is never ditched or completely forgotten. This song is a perfect example. Nice complex drumming and bass play driving the violin and organ melody which will change in tempo throughout. There is a wonderful moog solo in the middle and a nice piano medley in the middle. A superb song all the way.

"Lamplight Symphony" is also a nice piece of progressive rock. Softer than the previous song it nevertheless has a driving rhythm with complex drumming even during the singing which something else I have noticed about many modern bands. They tend to "dumb down" the drumming and bass complexity while the vocals are being sung. Why?

"Lonely Street" is another fairly straight ahead rocker with a bit of a bluesy beat.

"The Devil Game", another highlight, is perhaps the hardest rocking progressive rock song on the album. This song, again, is usually defined by most progressive rock purists as just a 'rock song' but it is without a doubt a 'Progressive Rock' song. Just because it 'rocks' doesn't mean it's not progressive. The tempo changes (beginning at around 2:15) and complex drumming (especially at the 4:15 mark and on) are fantastic.

"Incomudro-" is another long (12:12) song that has a great feel to it. It may be just a notch below "Song For America" and "The Devil Game" but has more to offer than those two songs to the fan of more adventurous or Genesis-sounding prog/rock. Great moog solo in this one too.

Overall, this is a great album by Kansas and along with Point of Know Return, Leftoverture and possibly their debut, is essential to any progressive Rock collection.

dalt99 | 5/5 |

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