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Kansas - Song For America CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.14 | 673 ratings

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3 stars This album is considered to be Kansas' most progressive album since it consists of only six tracks and three of them are 8+ minute compositions. But is it as progressive as the first glance at the track-list might insinuate? Let's revisit it and find out the answer!

The band's self-titled debut was a very versatile album featuring everything from straightforward blues, on Bringing It Back, all the way to 10 minute suites like Apercu. While Song For America was slightly more precise with the orientation of the band's sound, there were still a few moments where Kansas chose to diverge from their formula in order to take a stab at the commercial sound of the '70s. I'm referring strictly to the two shorter tunes on the second side of the record. Lonely Street is a pure blues rock number that sounds even more out of place than J.J. Cale cover did on their debut album. The Devil Game is not really any better, even though the instrumental intro might make you believe otherwise. This is a strictly a commercial rock tune and a bad one in that regard!

As for the lengthy suites, they're pretty excellent even though I can't say that they convince me as much as the material off the debut album. The album's title track is easily the most memorable out of the bunch while the more subtile Lamplight Symphony and Incomudro - Hymn To The Atman do a wonderful job of backing it up without distinguishing themselves too much in the contrast.

As a whole, Song For America doesn't feel as a complete album experience even though some of the individual highlights might paint a much more colorful picture. Still, there's no denying that it's a better record than anything that Kansas have done during the '80s so you should definitely give it a go after experiencing the three other highlight releases from Kansas '70s repertoire.

***** star songs: Song For America (9:59)

**** star songs: Down The Road (3:43) Lamplight Symphony (8:11) Incomudro - Hymn To The Atman (12:12)

*** star songs: Lonely Street (5:43) The Devil Game (5:03)

Rune2000 | 3/5 |


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