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Kansas - Masque CD (album) cover

MASQUE

Kansas

 

Symphonic Prog

3.66 | 543 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

KansasRushDream
5 stars After a great start to their career with the self-intitled "Kansas" and "Song for America" albums, Kansas was looking for their third album to be the lucky one that would land them some radioplay. They wouldn't achieve their goal of a timeless hit on this album, but there is no doubt that "Masque" is a strong collection of songs.

The album starts off with "It Takes a Woman's Love to Make a Man", which is a poppish song that features a nice Tenor Sax solo near the end of the song. The musicianship is not too great and it was definitely their biggest attempt at a hit song for this album, but it isn't too bad of a song overall. Rating 4/5.

The next track, "Two Cents Worth" has a slow blues feel to it, and the bassline is pretty cool. The music in the song is pretty simple for most of the duration, but it has a cool style which makes it enjoyable. While it may not be a long epic, clocking in a just over 3 minutes, it is a solid track that sets the stage for the great classic that follows it. Rating: 4/5

One of the most popular songs of Kansas' early days, "Icarus--Borne on Wings of Steel" embodies the very essence of early Kansas. The violin and keyoard are very prominent throughout the entire piece, Steve Walsh and Robby Steinhardt combine their vocal talents in great harmonies, and there is a fairly lengthy solo section that features fantastic violin and guitar parts. "Icarus" is the entire package for Kansas fans. Rating: 5/5

The fourth track, "All the World", is a very unique sounding song that can easily be overlooked since it falls in between two masterpieces; "Icarus" and "Child of Innocence". "All the World" is the first song on the album to really feature Violinist/Vocalist Robby Steinhardt, because he takes the lead vocally as well as has a great solo in the middle of the piece. Steve Walsh makes his presence known in the later half of the song, having a short keyboard/vocal solo to slow things down and create a good effect. The song returns to a more upbeat style after that until ending with a nice chordial vocal part. Rating: 5/5

"Child of Innocence" is another favorite among most true Kansas fans. The song is very guitar-based, featuring a very cool riff that is complimented with some great keyboard playing by Steve Walsh. Steinhardt and Walsh share the duty of the vocals, switching back and forth and then harmonizing together during the chorus. Rich Williams has a nice guitar solo in the middle of the piece, and the song's lack of violin isn't even really noticable because of the great musicianship and catch melodies. Rating: 5/5

Kansas returns to their rocking style with "Mysteries and Mayhem", which is a very hard and cryptic song that has a very hard prog sound. The song itself is short, only 4:18, but it has a very progressive feel due to the keyboard effects as well as the prominent violin. "Mysteries and Mayhem" seems like it would've fit better on the previous album, "Song for America", because the style is more in line with that album, but the song still is great on "Masque". Rating: 5/5

"The Pinnacle" is really where Kansas unleashes their great progressive talent. The song is the longest on the album at 9:44. The song's style is almost identical to that of Mysteries and Mayhem, but a little less hard rock and a bit more progressive. The song is somewhat slow, but it is very entertaining and features some great melodies as well as some great lyrics. This song would've also fit in well on "Song for America", but it still fits with "Masque" like "Mysteries and Mayhem" does. Anyone who likes Prog at all should enjoy "The Pinnacle". Rating: 5/5

"Masque" is truly one of the greatest Prog Albums of all time, and definitely one of Kansas' best. This album is a great buy for Prog fans everywhere.

KansasRushDream | 5/5 |

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