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




Symphonic Prog

3.66 | 543 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars ''Song for America'' brought Kansas in notice with its 250,000 sold copies and the album climbed up to No.57 of the US charts, eventually becoming gold in 1980.Even so Don Kirshner somewhat pushed the band to write more commercial material for their next album.''Masque'' was recorded at the Country in Bogalusa, Los Angeles, but lyrically it ended up to be Kansas' more sinister effort, dealing with issues such as nightmares, death and the dilemma of life.Most of the material was written by Livgren and Walsh and the album was released in September 1975.

The same formula used in the previous Kansas works is present in yet another effort by the Americans with tracks like ''It takes a woman's love (to make a man), ''Two cents worth'' and ''It's you'' clearly written to reach a wider audience with their friendly style and their heartfelt lyrics.Straight rockers, which still retained the talents of the Kansas' crew due to the bombastic sound of Hammond organ and the smoky violin solos of Robby Steinhardt.On the other hand ''All the world'' is great US Prog/Art Rock with great use of synths, piano and organ and Classical-flavored violins, evolving from lyrical ballad-like movements to symphonic grandieur with a powerful sound.''Icarus - borne on wings of steel'' is nice attempt on groovier, proggy material with emphatic vocals and organ, played with complexity and virtuosity, supported by yet another nice performance by Steinhardt on violin.''Child of innocence'' is definitely more pompous Hard Prog with a questionable lyrical content but great switches between angry and sensitive vocal lines and fiery instrumental room at the middle with punchy guitars and keyboards.''Mysteries and mayhem'' is pretty similar, standard rhythmic Hard Rock with passionate vocals, melodic violins and a few impressive, proggy breaks and interplays.I do not know if ''The pinnacle'' was named so to indicate the album's most intricate piece, but this definitely Kansas at their best, familiar Classical-drenched Progressive Rock with striking, instrumental lines, great melodies and adventurous twists and turns.Great piano lines, confident organ and synth runs, beautiful symphonic orchestrations and some more Hard Rockin' instrumental textures.Monster track.

While ''Masque'' finds Kansas at their most accesible phase during their progressive period, the consistently tight songwriting, the solid arrangements and the bombastic, proggy themes in here stabilized them as a top Prog/Art Rock band of the 70's.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

apps79 | 3/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this KANSAS review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.