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Proto-Kaw - Forth CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.20 | 65 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
1 stars For years, people have argued about the advantages and disadvantages of the CD format over the vinyl format: artwork, sound quality etc. One feature of CDs that makes them very different to vinyls is that they can hold 80 minutes of music, encouraging artists to write more material for their albums. This can be a disadvantage, especially when the artist doesn't write very good material for their albums in the first place. Such is the case of Proto-Kaw.

Proto-Kaw - comprising of Kerry Livgren, Lynn Meredith, John Bolton, Dan Wright, Jake Livgren, Craig Kew and Mike Patrum - is the band that existed prior to the ever-popular Kansas. The name 'Proto-Kaw' combines the Greek prefix meaning 'before' with the Native American word for 'Kansas'. After Livgren released a compilation of tapes chronicling this early version of Kansas entitled 'Proto-Kaw: Early Recordings from Kansas 1971-1973', the old band decided to reform and begin releasing new material. 'Forth' is the band's third studio album, following 2004's 'Before Became After' and 2006's 'The Wait Of Glory'.

Those hoping for a taste of early Kansas music will be bitterly disappointed. The music here is strictly mediocre AOR, with barely a hint of prog. What's more, there's an excruciating 61 minutes of music to sit through divided into eleven mind-numbing songs. Most of the songs are roughly 5' minutes in length, meaning that they are all padded out and take far more of your time than they should. Each song seems incredibly lame, uninspired and unoriginal, with a tired composition style used in each case. My favourite on this album is the loungey Greek Structure Sunbeam, though I can't imagine why I'd listen to it again.

This is the sound of a band that are scraping the bottom of the barrel for ideas. It's disappointing to know that five years between albums cannot yield this group anything fresh and original. Unless you enjoy listening to lame, cheesy AOR, I suggest you stay well away from this one.

baz91 | 1/5 |


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