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Kansas - Masque CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.66 | 544 ratings

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3 stars Masque is generally recognized as the weakest link of the band's first five releases and my opinion on the matter won't diverge too much from this statement.

The two opening tracks are very poor even by commercial music standards so don't even bother. Luckily things get a whole lot better with Icarus - Borne On Wings Of Steel. Even though this tune will get even better with the performance off the live album Two For The Show, this original studio version can definitely hold a candle to the best material off the band's other four early releases. All The World is a lengthy ballad that might not be one of their better but still passes it's hefty 7 minute length quite flawlessly.

The next section of the album is comprised of another weaker section that begins with the dull Child Of Innocence while It's You sounds like a not too distant relative of the debut album's Belexes but with a slightly less interesting arrangement and weaker harmonic punch to it. Mysteries And Mayhem and the concluding 9 minute suite titled The Pinnacle get the album back on track but the question is whether it's not already too late to turn this record around? Since both of these tunes lack the power that Kansas depicted on Icarus - Borne On Wings Of Steel, the answer is pretty obvious for me.

Unlike its two predecessors, Masque is really not the album one would expect from a band that was so clearly trying to give their progressive tendencies a harder edge. What is even more surprising is how the development of their style would progress within the next few year, but more on that in my next review.

***** star songs: Icarus - Borne On Wings Of Steel (6:03)

**** star songs: All The World (7:10) It's You (2:32) Mysteries And Mayhem (4:19) The Pinnacle (9:35)

*** star songs: It Takes A Woman's Love (To Make A Man) (3:07) Two Cents Worth (3:08) Child Of Innocence (4:35)

Rune2000 | 3/5 |


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