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Kansas - Drastic Measures  CD (album) cover

DRASTIC MEASURES

Kansas

 

Symphonic Prog

2.15 | 123 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Tragic measures... at least for the fans! In 1983 Kansas hit rock bottom. Their previous album Vinyl Confessions was already pointing the band int he AOR direction, but they still managed to make a difference with more elaborated arrangements and heavier guitar lines. And violins, of course! But now with Robbie Steinhardt gone, so was their musical signature. Some people joked at the time that Drastic Measures was just a John elefante solo album with some members of Kansas providing backing instrumentation. While not totally true, this is not a totally false statement either. Six out of nine tracks here are Elefante┤s songs. And several studio musicians and singers dilute even more any personal Kansas sound that had left by then.

Not that the songs themselves were bad per se. Mostly are even quite good for the average AOR fan. But don┤t try to find anything that vaguely reminds the great Kansas of old, save for the occasional burst of good guitar solos and the odd elegant keyboards sound here and there. Most of the time what you hear is the same 80┤s cheesy synths and fat drum sound of that decade. Not bad, ok, but utterlly indistinguished of dozens of other acts in the vein of Journey, Styx, Toto and the like. Only Livgren┤s three compositions give som e impression that we are hearing something above pop/AOR stuff, and only the last two tracksof the album does show them mining a more familiar ground, real good stuff that smells of prog at least. Not enough to redeem the record of course, but at least they gave something worth having for the hapless fans who bought it.

I don┤t want to be too harsh on the Elefante┤s stuff. After all I always liked Fight Fire With Fire and Andi - controvertial lyrics aside - is a very moving ballad. But again it is like hearing another band. I┤m not surprised Drastic Measures was not a hit, the band calling it quits right after this one might have give the fans more a relieve feeling than one of sorrow by then.

Conclusion: for hardcore fans, collectors and completionists only. Unless you┤re a fan of pop/AOR music, this is not recommended for newbies.

Tarcisio Moura | 2/5 |

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