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Kansas - Kansas CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.98 | 584 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars One of their best albums, if not their best

The debut album of this six youngsters from the United States's Midwest is sure stunning for a number of reasons. First of all, this band is from GOD-DAMN KANSAS! Seriously, that region of the US is one of the last ones that i would imagine to give birth to such a good progressive rock band (good at least until before 79, when they released the sup-par Monolith and things would start going downward) in that country, mainly because there is no kind of prog rock tradition in that part of the US. Secondly, Kansas made an incredible mix in this album that they would not do ever again: they mixed prog rock with country, specially vocal-wise, probably because the are from the state of KANSAS, and there country IS something else. In third place, they also mixed considerable amounts of hard rock to their music, what made the band be quite harder than most of their 70's symphonic prog counterparts and gave them a a more rock edge. In fourth place, THEY ARE FROM KANSAS!!!

Having such unique features, the band used most of those features in its favor, dividing the album in two parts (one part on side 1 and the other on side 2, duh!), probably in order to show them better. The first part (on side 1) contains, mostly, their harder side and/or their country side in all songs, except in the song Journey From Mariabronn, which is more like an introduction to their proggy side in side 2. As i said before, the side 2 is their proggier side, where they make full usage of most of their skills as musicians. The only different from this side is the song Death Of Mother Nature Suite, which is much heavier than the 3 songs that preceded it and makes a great closing track. The only big downside in this album is the ending of the song Apecu, because i think that the song would have been MUCH better if it ended at the violin arpeggio. It really saddens me every time i listen to that song and see how they spoiled such a beautiful ending. It must be noted that the sides referred here are the vinyl sides and that does not apply (or apply figuratively) to the CD.

About the songs, musicianship and other features, there are somethings i would like to state:

The instrumental work is very nice and quite diverse. One part of that diversity comes from using the violin in almost every track without the instrument being out place and making an exceptional good work in the softer songs, like Lonely Wind, Journey From Mariabronn and Apecu, though sometimes, like in the song Bring it Back, it is quite boring and uninspired. The vocal work is also very good and it uses some country features that makes the vocals stand out even more.

The highlihgts go to Journey From Mariabronn, Apecu and Death Of Mother Nature Suite.

Grade and Final Thoughts

Damn, this is a great album. But why am i just giving it the 4 stars grade instead of the 5 stars grade since i love it so much? Simple my friends, it is not that good. OK, i gotta admit that it has some pretty awesome songs, specially Apecu, and have some unique stuff, like mixing country and prog rock, but at the same time it is the band's biggest strength and weakness. The initial songs are nothing but just good songs and, though the band recovers itself later on the album, the spoiling of Apecu's ending is just unforgivable and ruins a big part of the second part of the album. In fact, if they fixed the song maybe this album were worthy the masterpiece g rade, but since its not the case here, its 4 stars for Kansas's self-titled de but.

CCVP | 4/5 |


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