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Kansas - Song For America CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.13 | 643 ratings

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The Quiet One
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Song for Britain and America

Kansas' sophomore effort supposedly shows the band at its peak alongside Leftoverture, something that I can understand, but that clearly shows that this band never really delivered really spectacular Prog music. Anyway, you must know that I have always had issues with this band to fully appreciate them; this is with Steve's vocals, while he by no means sings badly, he can annoy me a hell-lot with his soft and overly high- pitched voice, and also the keyboard tones, they sound pretty cheesy and dated, clearly something that makes this band hard to digest. However, I can't deny that the band gave an original, though not really necessary, twist to the ''usual'' British Symphonic Prog, that is that they added their own American roots, hard rock and a bit of country music, though this didn't really make a huge difference, the band's Prog pieces shown in this album and Leftoverture still reminds you of most of the classic Prog bands from Britain.

To be more specific with Song for America, the band played efficiently and composed some decent tunes; however there's actually no highlights in the compositions. To start with, the three hard rock/blues tunes, Down the Road, Lonely Street and The Devil Game, are average songs that clearly shows that this is still a second album by a yet not fully developed Prog Rock group, something that I can accept, though makes me think: 'if this is one of the band's highly regarded albums and yet it has average rock tunes, I'm really not sure if the band could really offer something outstanding'.

When it comes to the other three, longer, pieces from the album, clearly the Prog ones, they once again show me that if these are some of Kansas' finest Prog pieces, I can hardly consider them a ''first tier Prog band'' (sorry for the term, I know many hate it), though this doesn't mean they are bad songs, it's just that overall they aren't really memorable nor grandiose as you would expect from their long length. The title track is unquestionably the best out of the three, very well arranged with nice up-lifting melodies, plus the instrumental passages are, finally, memorable: the piano, the organ, the bass, the synths, it's all superb once in for all!

To conclude I'll say that this is a fine, though not a necessary (at all) addition to your Symphonic Prog collection, that is if you already have Yes, Genesis and ELP in it, since I doubt you'll pick this before you pick one of the albums by the other bands; there's nothing I can't get from those bands that Kansas offers, and in a much better way.

3 stars: get Leftoverture first, if you feel that you can get something by it that other, previous, Prog bands can't give you, then you can safely check this album. Unfortunately, I just can't seem to get something really unique or really great from this.

The Quiet One | 3/5 |


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