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Proto-Kaw - Before Became After CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 150 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars I honestly believe this album will eventually become what "Leftoverture" was to Kansas in the seventies. Opening with "Alt-More Worlds than known" one quickly becomes accustomed to the voice of Lynn Meredith. It is a pleasure listening to a vocalist with such clean pronunciation and conviction in his singing. It is not until Dan Wright´s majestic (cimema like) keyboards come in (after Meredith sings "Is it the same for you..?") that the composition falls into place.

"Leaven" is simply a classic. When Meredith´s vocals begin with "I will always wonder.." accompanied by Wright´s piano/keyboard it will send a shiver down your spine! Brad Shulz´s drumming is exceptionally good on this track, while John Bolton adds another dimension to the music with his flute playing. Lynn Meredith gives a high pitched scream towards the end of the song which would rival that of any metal vocalist! Great, clean and crisp playing from Livgren (no distortion and excessive overdrive)

"Axolotl" also features Wright´s majestic, cinema sounding keyboards with lyrics that most of us will easily be able to relate to. Another classic song! This album is great to listen to on headphones for maximum effect. The music and lyrics transport the listener on an almost spiritual high!

When "Quantum Leapfrog" comes up next, I was a bit worried in which direction this album was going. But before I knew it, I was pulled into the song and found myself enjoying the jazz/rock instrumental. The musicianship by this band is really of a high standard and it sounds like they are really enjoying himself (Hear the laugh during this instrumental!)

"Gloriana" takes a few listens. Bolton´s flute playing is almost hypnotising on this track. Meredith´s vocals are charged with emotion! "Gloriana" is a long track with a lot of musical twists and turns.

"The Occasion of your honest dreaming" was quite a surprise. It is a sixties type song with wonderful harmonies. I found the songs like "Quantum Leapfrog" and "Occasion..." make the overall track listing more interesting.

"Heavenly Man" has beautiful soul searching lyrics and great vocals. Towards the end of the song Livgren almost makes his guitar cry softly as he he is accompanied by the band. Beautiful!!

"Theophany" is one of the strongest songs on this album. This is Kerry Livgren at his song writing best. The composition is nothing short of a masterpiece, great lyrics, great musicianship, great vocals, lots of time changes and some excellent guitar playing by Livgren.

The Special edition comes with a bonus disc, featuring the old Kansas classic "Belexes" This is an incredible live version with some great drumming by Brad Shulz. The song "Greenburg, Glickstein, Charles, David, Smith and Jones" I found really quite amusing, although it has a serious and sad message at the same time.

One of my favourite albums and a masterpiece of progressive music.

WaywardSon | 5/5 |


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