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Kerry Livgren - AD: Art Of The State CD (album) cover


Kerry Livgren

Crossover Prog

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5 stars This was the best of the AD releases. A superb diversion from Kansas without being a copy cat band. Opening with the soaring All Creation Sings to the imploring Lead Me to Reason Livgren ropes in others who are able to showcase a side of Kerry that diverges from his accomplishments in Kansas. The Fury's power melds into Kerry's social commentary on Progress. With Up from the Wasteland serving as a fitting conclusion. If you wondered what Kerry Livgren was doing in between Kansas and Proto-Kaw start here.
Report this review (#102523)
Posted Sunday, December 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars In 1985 AD was moved from the CBS regular line to Sparrow records which housed the Christian artists. It was too bad this wasn't the first release because they may have had much better success with this one. While it still retains the techno pop flavor from Time Line there are far more interesting instrumental passages here. Also this is a much more mature recording as it is the groups second (and last as this unit) attempt. Staring with All Creation Sings we get some of that pop flavor mentioned but also a very creative section after the break with a little syncopated musical break. The second track We Are the Men is one of these weird little ditties that Kerry pulls out of his brain now and then. Using just a very pedestrian drum beat he piles on layers of mostly vocal harmonies and a nice guitar solo. Sort of like Not Man Big from Somewhere to Elsewhere. One of Warren Ham's better vocal efforts of all the things he has done with Kerry.

Some of the other highlights here are certainly The Fury and Up from the Wasteland. The Fury being the wrath of an angry God holding above the sinful earth. It will burst but know one knows when. I really like the blusey guitar, keyboards on this and Michael Gleason's Walshian vocals here. There are some interesting percussion moments as the song builds up to a great finale. This song is in the spirit of The Mask of The Great Deceiver from Seeds of Change. Up From the Wasteland starts out with an almost soundtrack feel to it with some great Keyboards and piano. A very emotional vocal by Michael Gleason leads us into an almost hymlike chorus. A super guitar solo by Livgren leads us into the accepella choral part . Very nicely done! One other highlight for me is the song The Only Way to Have a Friend. Done in a R&B style the song is powerful and strong. Great guitar and bass on this one with a strong vocal by Ham. A very different kind of song for Livgren. Most of the other songs are pleasant but nothing groundbreaking.

All in all a pretty good effort from AD certainly their best. Remembering that we are still stuck in the barren 80's I think this is 4 star.

Report this review (#119011)
Posted Thursday, April 19, 2007 | Review Permalink

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