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Kansas - Song For America CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.14 | 686 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Most of the best Kansas albums have been reviewed so many times that their music really doesn't need to be explained or elaborated on too extensively. But, since they were so influential to symphonic prog in the 70s, I felt it at least worth my time to put my two cents worth in. This album is an excellent early album which was released before Kansas had hit the big time. The production is good on the longest tracks, but seems to be sketchy on the shorter tracks. Picking apart the various songs on this one: 1) This one I think is an attempt to make a radio friendly song. It is a decent song, but nothing spectacular (4 stars); 2) This is the title track and clocks in just short of 10 minutes. This track is one reason to search this album out. Amazing instrumentation, ingenuity and great vocals. Constantly changing meters, tempos, intriguing melodies and great production. This would become a concert staple and rightfully so. Kansas was out to show the world what they were capable of. (5 stars); 3) Even though this one is around 8 minutes and has some great instrumentals, I find it quite sappy and this drags the songs quality down. This is one that I feel embarrassed for the group for because of the corny lyrics. However, the level of perfection in the instrumentals bring the star level up half a notch (4 1/2 stars); 4) A failed attempt at giving their sound a blues-y feeling. The vocals don't work and the overall song is not convincing enough to be taken seriously as a blues oriented song. (3 stars); 5) This one is geared more to an attempt at hard rock with lyrics trying to attract Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin listeners at the time. Again, it doesn't really work well with Kansas. Fortunately these last two songs are short. 6) This one is a masterpiece and is another epic song at over 12 minutes. This has all the great qualities that the title track (#2) has plus one of the most amazing drum solos. A drum solo normally would take away from this, but not in this case, it is a perfect fit for this song and fortunately does not wear out it's welcome by going on too long. (5 stars). Overall this album is worth having because of tracks 2 and 6 which fortunately take up a good part of the album. The other shorter tracks are of "meh" quality to me, and the other long track (#3) is too corny to be taken seriously all the way through. Because of it's unevenness this album only gets 4 stars, but those two amazing tracks should be considered masterpieces
TCat | 4/5 |


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