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Kansas - Leftoverture CD (album) cover

LEFTOVERTURE

Kansas

 

Symphonic Prog

4.21 | 665 ratings

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Trotsky
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars What an opening statement this album makes! In the multi-dimension heavy rocker Carry On Wayward Son, Kansas has one of the greatest prog-inflected singles of all time. I love everything about it ... the exuberant layered vocals, poignant lyrics, searing organ, heavy guitar, understated piano-playing, the fiery break, and the airtight rhythm section. It was the single that helped Kansas break through to the big time but that shouldn't take anything away from one of Kerry Livgren's finest compositions.

It's not the only blockbuster on this album. Magnum Opus is one intense, rewarding journey that has everything from Steve Walsh's moody vibe-palying to Rich Williams' scorching guitar leads. It's a song of real stature. Cheyenne Anthem (thematically at least) is like a sequel to their greatest prog acheivement Song For America and it's a great song. Despite a cheesy children's choir and a dubious polka-ish rhythm that takes over at one point, there are so many delicate bits that I can't resist in this song. Miracles Out Of Nowhere is another indisutable Kansas classic, bringing back some much needed violin and synth leads that I often finded are needed to take a Kansas song to the next level. I also love the organ-led mid section to bits ... what a great bit of prog playing!

The Wall is one of those songs I find a little over-rated. Its melody and style are too meandering for my tastes and I actually find it boring. Same goes for Opus Insert, which has some nice interludes, but is generally forgettable. What's On My Mind blends a punchy rock riff with a shockingly poppy verse, but like The Wall I find it overrated. Questions Of My Childhood is another song with a strong pop touch, although the arrangements save this one from the scrapheap.

The bonus tracks on my CD are virtually note-perfect live versions of Carry On Wayward Son and Cheyenne Anthem, proving to those who didn't already know just what a powerful band Kansas was at its prime. In fact I prefer the live version of Cheyenne Anthem to its studio counterpart. ... 80% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 4/5 |

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