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Kansas - Leftoverture CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.22 | 1030 ratings

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5 stars ** Intermezzo - By the time I am about to write this review, I'm hearing "Stargazer" of Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow ("Rising" album) broadcasted by our local FM radio station. What a coincidence! "Leftoverture" was released about the same period (I guess) with Rainbow "Rising". Yeah . both of them have colored my teenage days. Powerful albums! Unfortunately, I cannot put my thoughts about "rising" as it is not boxed under prog category. Poor me . That's the impact on categorizing music under what so called "genre". Who's fault ? Our fault! The listeners. Yes, we categorized music. **

Sorry for the above intermezzo, but it's true for me personally (or it may apply to some of you). The kind of music that the rock groups created during the creative year of 70s seem to share common "nuances" for me. I can feel it but I can not disburse it in words. Well, I think for those of you who were teenagers during 70s, you know exactly what I mean, as I can sense it now. Regardless which part of the world you were at that time. The 70's was really the glory years of rock music. Rock music was accessible by almost all people. Don't you think so?

Yes, "CARRY ON WAYWARD SON " ..JRENG! was I think one of the colors of 70s music. The music is to me a kind of straight forward rock song. It may be categorized as prog as there are some tempo changes but it's still maintaining a rocking style. I like the voice line as well as the guitar work and piano during transition pieces. An energetic tune. I still remember those days when I watched the rock concert (accompanied by my big bro, Boedi - remember, I was just teenager - my mom did not allow me to go by myself)) in Jakarta where the performer was our local rock hero GOD BLESS covering this song. Fantastic performance. This song is suitable for cheering you up after you've gone thru a tiring day, eg. fed up with your boss, trapped in a long traffic jam, or experiencing a not so good relationship with your friend, spouse, etc. Play it ON man, you'll get your spirit UP! Yeah . count on my words!

"THE WALL" is a melodic track in a sort of ballad mode with great lead guitar. The guitar melody at the very intro part of the track is really killing me .. Hmmmm ...!! Oh boy . what a wonderful melody!!! The other interesting part is when the clavinet sound backing up the voice line and then followed by tasty violin sound. Uuuuggghhhh ...great composition! The strong part of this track is, I think (in addition to the "killing" melody line), the transition pieces where a wide variety of instruments are used, including vibes. Brilliant!

"WHAT's ON MY MIND" is a dynamic track in relatively fast tempo. The double guitar sound is really excellent. The music flows like typical rock song. Great vocal. "MIRACLES OUT OF NOWHERE" is my all-time favorite as it has relatively complex composition but it is crafted in a great tasty melody. The many instruments used to accentuate the music are blended nicely in one single composition: wonderful ballad rock music. "Tell me where you're going to?" is the part of its lyrics that people used to emulate this track. Observe the complexity of musical instruments' melody at transition on minute 2:30. Wow! Really stunning, my friend! Each instrument seems to sound in different direction but in a very nice harmony! I don't believe that human being has ever created this superb song! Really superb! Try it yourself! You will hardly disagree with me. I'm pretty sure!

"OPUS INSERT" is a straight forward rock music with great organ sound and some acoustic guitar work. Nothing more that I can comment as the music is nice with some prog elements in the middle of the track using vibes (reminds me to Gentle Giant, actually). "QUESTIONS OF MY CHILDHOOD" has great harmony of keyboard and piano (played at the same time). However, the melody of this track is not really as tasty as the other tracks.

"CHEYENNE ANTHEM" was the first track in the cassette edition that I purchased sometime in 76. (Thanks God, finally I could afford to buy the CD in 1998). Of course, I love this track as it starts beautifully with a great acoustic guitar rhythm and it climbs up to a faster tempo when all instruments take part.

The concluding track "MAGNUM OPUS" is another all-time favorite track for me. It has everything for a progressive rock track: relatively complex, changing tempos, great transitions and the use of many instruments to generate various sounds. The vocal line at the opening part is very melodic. The rest of the track has no vocal but full with exploration of musical instruments in relatively complex composition, relatively fast tempo, excellent harmony. (Sometime in the year 2000, I was listening to the metal program in our local FM station. The broadcaster mentioned that "Magnum Opus" was the first inspiration for progressive metal bands. Was that true? I don't know. But it might be, because it has a sort of guitar riffs. Do you think so? If you agree, this album then must be a "masterpiece", because it has laid a solid foundation in the history of progressive metal! ).

Overall, this album is a "masterpiece"! It deserves for 5 / 5 rating. Powerful songwriting, tight structure and composition, excellent performance, great cover and excellent sonic quality of the CD. (Just a little note: if you do not mind, I would humbly say "please ignore any review in this page or other page that rate this album less than 4/5". Sorry . it's not my intention to undermine other reviewers' views. Indeed, I'm not a die hard fan of Kansas, but this album is absolutely a masterpiece. I have to be fair. Big apology for my "na´ve-ness" but I'm telling you from my heart. Please try it yourself. Nyuwun sewu njih .) GW, Indonesia.

Gatot | 5/5 |


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