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Kansas - Audio-Visions CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.04 | 265 ratings

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3 stars First off, before talking about the music, the cover artwork of this album is excellent and it fits with the album title i.e. something about audio and about the future. That's a good start already to collect this album. With a good artwork it helps articulate the overall opinion about an album. Musically, this album is not as strong as their early efforts with albums like "Leftoverture", "Song for America" or their debut album. However it's not a bad album at all. The composition is straight forward but every segment of the music contains rich textures comprising a bit complex combination of violin, guitar, keyboard and even xylophone.

The album opener "Relentless" has its root in classic Kansas music with a bit melodic vocal section combined with piano. The music flows in pop style with some nice interludes with keyboard and good guitar solo. For my taste, this is an enjoyable track especially when I hear original Kansas sound in the forms of Steve Walsh lead vocals and unique guitar solo ala Kerry Livgren. "Anything For You" starts off with good piano work combined with guitar fills and good vocal shot sung together. "Hold On" was a radio hit and people would easily know this track. The violin works characterizes Kansas music. "Loner' is a hard rock in relatively fast tempo with good guitar work. Again, I like the part when vocals are sung together.

"Curtain of Iron" is one of my favorite tracks out of this album especially with the violin based music at the opening and the music turns down into quiet part with piano and vocals. It's really good. It moves in good melody with transparent vocal of Steve Walsh augmented with female choirs. The song has wider variety of styles reminiscent of "Leftoverture" album (it reminds me to the song "Child of Innocence"). Of course I really love the violin solo performed in the middle of the track. "Got To Rock On" brings the music back to straight forward structure and style. "Don't Open Your Eyes" is another good track with impressive opening which really demonstrate the sound of Kansas- especially during intro part.

"No One Together" has a powerful lyrics and good composition. "Centuries of backward ways have many left behind us ." backed with good combination of violin, piano and guitar. Yes this track is packed with music textures exploring the work of violin, keyboard and guitar in relatively fast tempo. Compared with other tracks, this one is more complex. The use of Xylophone reminds me to "Magnum Opus". It's a well composed track with powerful songwriting and performance.

"No Room for Stranger" has a bit of bluesy style performed in medium tempo with good combination of rhythm section texture. Not only guitar that demonstrates obvious sounds but bass guitar sounds really tight. The interlude part with guitar solo is very interesting. "Back Door" is another good concluding track.

Overall, it's a good album by Kansas even though not their best. If you listenb to it with an open mind, you would find this album has good music textures. What is lacking, probably, is the melody which does not sound natural to many ears. I think. The good thing is that I still can enjoy good lyrics, tidy music sound combining violin (my favorite), guitar and keyboard. Overall, it's good even though not essential. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 3/5 |


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