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Kansas - In The Spirit Of Things CD (album) cover

IN THE SPIRIT OF THINGS

Kansas

 

Symphonic Prog

2.82 | 209 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Well, released in 1988, hardly anyone noticed this album. Kansas by that time was already a burnt out band. Small wonder it took almost two decades to even know they did have put out a follow up to 1986s Power with the same line up. Which is a pity, since in several ways In The Spirit Of Things is superior to Power. Not that it is a classic. In fact the album is still plagued by that kind of overblown 80s production, even if that style was already on decay at the time. But the songs in general are quite strong.

The opener trio of tunes show that contradiction very well: Ghosts, One Big Sky And Inside of Me are all good rock songs that the plastic production make them drag a bit. The band is tight, Steve Walsh vocals are great and passionate all the way through. There are some power ballads and a few typical AOR tracks on the way, but clearly nothing here is crap. Again the excellent instrumentation and the fierce, convincing vocals make even the weakest tunes at least listenable. And at the end of the album youll find even some little known gems: Rainmaker and, specially, Bells Of Saint James show the band in great form and somewhat reminding of their power and majesty of the 70s. Its ironical that Steve Morse is hardly noticeable on the record: is hard to tell where he or Rich Williams play each part. Still, the guitars are great when they appear.

In the end I found this album much more pleasant and exciting than Power. While there is plenty of commercial material, they still managed to make it with elegance and personality and included far better stuff by the second half of the CD. Not up to their classic stuff, ok, but still very good. Certainly if The Spirits of Things was released some five years before it would be probably praised as an AOR classic with strong prog influences and it could sell a lot too . Certainly it would be far superior than 90% of the pop stuff of the period. But the timing was bad. Such a shame.

If PA was an AOR or melodic rock site The Spirit Of things could easily get 4 or even 5 stars. For a prog site, though, 3 stars is quite adequate. Good, but non essential.

Tarcisio Moura | 3/5 |

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