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Kansas - Monolith CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.22 | 366 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars This album was my second bought and the group's most splendid Post-Nuke and Native gatefold (both inner and outer) artwork fascinated me, despite the music being "very average but still better than what would be coming up. I spent hours looking at the fascinating art work of the cover imagining Sci-Fi Disaster tales (while listening to other prog groups than Kansas) whose scripts I lost a few years later. No longer tracks to distinguish them from the pack, but there are a few over the 6-minutes mark.

Opening on the album-best and opening On The Other Side, this is the classic Kansas giving us the deeds with a bit of drama, just the way we like it. Unfortunately the promising (by the title anyway) People Of The Southern Wind is a rather awful AOR with a dreadful chorus line and Walsh's synths choices (he also rocks the piano) are disputable cheap-sounding, but the song can be viewed as catchy. The ambitious Angels Have Fallen is unfortunately IMHO cheesy but likely to please most of the group's fans. How My Soul is easily the most puzzling from the A-side, because of its experimentations (which I find unconvincing)

Opening the flipside is the track that was most likely put forth by the band and radios, Glimpse Of Home, a pure-AOR vocal track, but with some complex music, but marred by fake strings synth (just use a mellotron for f**k's sake). Away FromYou is from the same AOR mould with complex music than its predecessor, but a bit more acoustic. Stay Out Of Trouble is more of the same, but slightly less radio-friendly. The closing Reasons To Be is a cheesy almost-crooner track, which is best forgotten.

The Kansas fall from good or essential 70's prog band is now under way by the time of this album, but this one still has moments and might just be worth owning in vinyl for the superb artwork. In some ways, I prefer Monolith to Masque and POKR. We still have that very recognizable Kansas sound, but clearly the inspiration is waning by now. The trouble is that even picking out one track that would stand out from the rest of the album, is rather difficult, like the previous album had..

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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