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Kansas - Leftoverture CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.22 | 1014 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Cassette confusion

Don't be put off by the rather corny title, this is probably Kansas' best album. I have always considered them to be a bit "second division", in as much as there are to my mind plenty of other bands who do what Kansas do, better.

To generalise, I find Kansas song writing to be rather weak. They know what they want to achieve, but often do not seem to quite get there. The other general criticism I have is in relation to the vocals. Robby Steinhardt and Steve Walsh are undoubtedly accomplished singers, but at least one of their voices is an acquired taste (forgive my ignorance, I do not know the band well enough to differentiate who is singing on each track). I also find that Kansas' songs do not always fit in well with their capabilities/limitations.

Now that is out the way, to the good points of this album. The opening track (Or is it? See below!), "Carry on wayward son" is probably (along with "Dust in the wind") Kansas' best known song. It's an upbeat feel good song, with a very catchy hook, and some fine instrumental passages. The following track "The wall" is my favourite Kansas track. The vocals are stronger here than on any other song by the band. It is a melodic power ballad, with a superb, Wurlitzer like, keyboard solo to finish.

Of the rest, "Cheyenne anthem" and "Magnum Opus" are among the best. The latter at 8 1/2 minutes is hardly "magnum", but they do still manage to split it into 6 sections!

A solid album by a capable, if at times "safe", band. Worth exploring.

I mentioned earlier about the "first" track. The cassette version I have lists the tracks in the order shown on this site. The cassette however actually plays in a completely different order, with "Cheyenne anthem" opening the album, and "Carry on.." kicking off side 2. Presumably this was to balance up the running times on the cassette.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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