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Kerry Livgren - Collector's Sedition-Directors Cut CD (album) cover


Kerry Livgren


Crossover Prog

3.80 | 13 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars Leftover(ture)'s from Somewhere To Elsewhere

For those who like Kansas' great comeback album Somewhere To Elsewhere, Kerry Livgren's Collector's Sedition - Directors Cut is highly recommended. The songs on this album came from the same writing sessions as the songs that ended up on Somewhere To Elsewhere. Kerry wrote all of these songs and thought that many of them sounded like Kansas songs. This led him to approach his old band (that he had left in the 80's) to suggest a reunion. The band agreed and Kerry gave them the choice of songs for what was to become Somewhere To Elsewhere. The Collector's Sedition material consists of the rest of these songs i.e. the songs that were not chosen by the band for inclusion on that album. Kerry writes in the booklet that he was surprised by some of the band's choices and he is right that some of these songs could have been excellent inclusions to Somewhere To Elsewhere.

These "leftover" songs were first released in 2000 (the same year that Somewhere To Elsewhere came out) as Collector's Sedition Vol. 1. But Kerry was not happy with the result; he thought that the release was somewhat rushed. This induced him to re-record these songs again with a full band sound and better production. While I have not heard the original Collector's Sedition album, I must say that the result is mostly very good. Some songs remind of Kansas while others remind me more of Kerry's later work with the reunited pre-Kansas band Proto-Kaw. While the material here is not among Kerry's best song writing work, as a collection of leftovers it is very impressive indeed and provides even more evidence of what a great songwriter he is (as if that was ever in doubt!).

I think that Kerry was in a strong period as a writer when he wrote these songs. Together with the period in the 70's that resulted in Kansas' Leftoverture and Point Of Know Return albums, and the period in the new millennium that resulted in Proto-Kaw's Before Became After and Wait Of Glory, the period that produced Somewhere To Elsewhere as well as the present album was one of Kerry Livgren's most creative periods ever. For fans of these albums, Collector's Sedition - Directors Cut should not be missed.

The Navigator is only one of several excellent songs here. Cold Grey Morning resembles the excellent later Proto-Kaw material in both sound and quality. There are no bad tracks here, but some songs are clearly less good than some of the others and there is nothing here that is up to par with the fantastic Icarus II from Somewhere To Elsewhere or the better Proto-Kaw songs. Still, this is possibly Kerry Livgren's best solo album (I can't say for sure because I have not yet heard them all) and it is even better than some Kansas albums!

Collector's Sedition is, despite its title, not only for fans and collectors. For anyone who appreciates Kansas and/or Proto-Kaw, this album will be a very worthy addition to your collection. It constitutes a great place to start investigating Kerry's solo career, but it is not a very good place to start if you don't yet know anything of Livgren's amazing work as a writer and performer; start with Kansas and Proto-Kaw.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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