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Kansas - Kansas CD (album) cover

KANSAS

Kansas

 

Symphonic Prog

3.98 | 591 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
4 stars What an interesting band from the US.

I discovered them with their second release in 1975. In those days, this band was absolutely unknown in Europe. IMO, their early production is the best one (it is the one I prefer if you wish). Due to the use of violins, Kansas sounded quite different from other US counterparts. They originated from Topeka, capital city of the state of ... Kansas. Livgren together with Hope and Ehart were already playing in a band called ... Kansas as soon as 1970. Lots of line-up changes will lead to the Kansas we know for this debut album (referred to as Mark III, already).

"Can I Tell You" and "Bringing It Back" (to Mexico) are good tracks : rocky, strong rythm section and good violin to support the whole. Original and inventive. One of their trademark will be to release of very nice rock ballads, which will definitely make them different. "Lonely Wind" belongs to this genre. Melancholic, catchy, featuring an emotional and light violin section. Nice and gentle piece of music. This might be considered as an ancestor for "Dust In The Wind".

"Belexes" is a solid hard-rock track. It reminds me the riff of "Wring That Neck" from Purple. Very much organ-oriented. The bass is also very present. The high vocals remind me those of Geddy Lee from Rush. Although not essential, it is not too bad a number.

"Journey from Mariabronn" is one of the long track of the album and also one the most elaborate : good instrumental intro (keys, violin), melodious vocals to follow, a good guitar solo and a grandiose finale : this format will be repeaeted quite a lot for the years to come. An absolute highlight and a Kansas masterpiece and the best number featured on this album.

"Pilmgrimage" sounds psyche during the intro. It turns into a country-rock song wich is not my cup of tea. The poorest number so far.

"Apercu" almost reach ten minutes. The vocal intro is very nice, the violin moments, very melodious. The song builds crescendo and turns into a rageous musical moment. The fnale is really wonderful. It is another highlight of the album.

The third lenghty track "Death of Mother Nature Suite"(just below eight minutes) closes the album brilliantly. This song is at times very much hard-rock oriented. But the mix with the subtle violin is so incredible than one can only be amazed with such achievement. This album will enter the top 200 of the US charts, reaching Nr. 174.

This first Kansas album is really good and is already representative of what they will produce during their most creative part of their carreer (till 1977). Its innovative sound is rather impressive for a debut album. Grandiose. Four stars.

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |

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