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Proto-Kaw - Forth CD (album) cover

FORTH

Proto-Kaw

 

Symphonic Prog

3.05 | 42 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

stewe
3 stars After Kerry Livgren's stroke and a statement that he dissolved Proto-Kaw I had no big expectations to ever see new album from this original Kansas group. It came as a big surprise. Some 40 years since they firstly met together, these guys have all my respect. Music which again makes a pleasant smile on my face all the time.

Joyful, relaxing, dramatic on places however not taking the things very seriously, melodic and memorable. There are again woodwinds and lovely flutes throughout, as well as Livgren's excellent guitar licks, which didn't lose any power with the time. Despite Livgren's religious views, he can usually write lyrics beautifully with spiritual overtones, in the way that people who are not Christians can also easily relate to them (something I wish Neal Morse could do as well).

Lynn Meredith and Jake Livgren are trading the lead within the songs, quite equally - despite Kerry Livgren's nephew is mentioned here as backing vocalist. They're both excellent, soulful, with full, warm voice reminding somehow the power Steve Walsh had in 70s.

There are two tracks which fans of Livgren might be familiar with - new, more sharp version of "On the Air", which I do believe to be better on the Livgren's Collector's Sedition solo album. The other remake, Greek Structure Sunbeam, is very beautiful, however in a bit different way to its raw counterpart from early 70s. Interesting for comparison, it shows how Meredith's voice nicely matured. I'd say compositionally it is more similar to 'Before Became After' than 'Wait for Glory'. Some of my favorites-originals include upbeat "One to Follow", joyful and colorful "Pollex" and slower, impressive "Pilgrim's Wake".

Although I think the album run out of the steam a bit especially towards the end of the album, it is still very fine piece of music, which contains moments on par to Kansas's glory days. 3.5 stars.

stewe | 3/5 |

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