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Kansas - Kansas CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.98 | 584 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars With every bone in my body, I should be giving this album a much lower rating. I got this at the tail end of my extreme interest in Kansas, a time of which I've heard so many Kansas albums that I wanted a break from them (of which I've been granted). It's very good, but I think there's a good reason why this album is the last of Kansas's I plan on listening to for some time.

If you've heard any other Kansas album from their prog period before, you expect a mixture of shorter hard rock songs with longer prog-type epics puking with keyboards and quasi- intellectual stories/statements. KANSAS started that trend, so if you go in a chronological context in discovering Kansas, this will be the best thing they ever recorded. However, with me, I heard KANSAS fifth after other classics like LEFTOVERTURE and SONG FOR AMERICA, and I feel that this album is like the other two that I mentioned, only more awkward in the prog.

I never have known Kansas to really ''rock out'' in their epics; in fact, there's many an epic in their catalogue where guitars sound almost nonexistant. Here, we get ''Death of Mother Nature Suite'', an eight minute thing that is infested with guitar licks, heavy ones mind you. Musically, it's very strong because of this aspect, but the lyrics kind of ruin it as they come off as hokey to me.

There's more strength in the shorter songs than the longer ones IMO. ''Can I Tell You'' and ''Belexes'' really bring out the best of Kansas's sound and ''The Pilgrimage'' isn't too shabby of a country-bar-rock song. The only shorter song that I gripe about is the predictable ballad in ''Lonely Wind'', so static and sleepy. To go back to epic speed, ''Mariabronn'' isn't too bad but ''Apercu'' sounds too overblown for my liking; there's little of ''Apercu'' that stimulates the mind or gets me excited at all.

Ah, what the hey, it's Kansas in full prog force. What progster could resist the tricky violin lines, swamps of Hammond organ and long winded pieces?

Sinusoid | 4/5 |


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