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Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Kansas - Leftoverture CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.22 | 1016 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars To even hint that Kansas is an impostor in the prog world is ridiculous. First and foremost, rock music is an American creation and the existence of this very web site is primarily justified because of rock music. Rock and Roll is the tree and prog is one of its many branches(and within the prog world there's even further branching).

That being said, I don't buy into the notion that ALL prog must be a British offspring in order for it to be considered a legitimate child. Before there was King Crimson, Yes and everyone else from the UK, there was Zappa. Arguably, Frank's work single-handedly epitomizes progressive music. Take a look at the top of the progarchive page and you will see links describing most of what is considered "progressive", and if you know anything about Zappa you know that he composed for all of those subgenres, and then some!

OK, so if this is a Kansas review why am I talking about Zappa? Well, we need to keep the American perspective when considering a CD like Leftoverture. First and foremost, this record is about as American as it gets. Most of the major, catchy riffs on this record are derived from well-worn American rock and roll standards and not from British folk music. Like early Genesis albums where their British folk roots oozed off the vinyl and the band members wore their "Britishness" proudly on their armbands(the battle of epping forest), Kansas proudly showcases their American heritage on Leftoverture.

Leftoverture has PLENTY of folk influences, but not of the European variety. One must understand and appreciate the cultural and historical makeup of the American Heartland in order to fully comprehend how progressive Kansas was on Leftoverture.

The music on this CD fuses hard rock with American "cowboy music". Whether or not this is to your liking(for musical or political reasons), you cannot refute that the cowboy and pioneer is an American tradition and for some, to this very day, a way of life. Vast, open spaces filled with corn fields and cattle as far as the eye can see, spotted with small towns where the center of the community is the church. Good or bad, that's the way it is in the American Heartland and very few bands got as close as Kansas did to exemplifying that culture and bringing it to a higher, more modern and accessible level.

Leftoverture earns a no-brainer FIVE STARS for being what it is: A modern classic in American music.

jrfernan | 5/5 |


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