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Kerry Livgren

Crossover Prog

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Kerry Livgren When Things Get Electric album cover
2.21 | 15 ratings | 2 reviews | 27% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1994

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Prelude: When Things Get Electric (0:55)
2. When Things Get Electric (5:14)
3. Turn On the Lights (4:25)
4. Two Thousand Down (4:47)
5. Smoke Is Rising (4:55)
6. Throw Me Down (5:04)
7. One Dark World (5:20)
8. No Holds Barred (4:33)
9. Sweet Child (4:40)
10. A Hero's Canticle (4:44)
11. Racing Away (4:22)
12. Like A Whisper (4:48)
13. Xylon (5:54)

Total Time: 63:41

Line-up / Musicians

- Kerry Livgren / guitars, keyboards, bass, drums, production
The Corps De Pneuma :
- Darren Rodgers / lead vocals
- Jason Beddoe / lead vocals
- David Ragsdale / violin
- Craig Kew / bass guitar
- Chris Kearney / drums
- Katy Livgren / backing vocals
- Kyle Livgren / backing vocals
- Roxanne Livgren / backing vocals
- Jake Livgren / backing vocals
- Susan Shewbridge / backing vocals
- Terry Craft / backing vocals
- BJ Smith / backing vocals
- Raynor Rob / backing vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Gary Jones

CD Numavox - 0001 (1994, US)

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and to Quinino for the last updates
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When Things Get ElectricWhen Things Get Electric
Numavox Records 1995
$6.99 (used)

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KERRY LIVGREN When Things Get Electric ratings distribution

(15 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(20%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (20%)
Poor. Only for completionists (13%)

KERRY LIVGREN When Things Get Electric reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ClemofNazareth
1 stars There are a number of things that bother me about this album, not the least of which is the fact that it’s not much more than a dressed-up Christian pop work with little indication that Kerry Livgren pushed himself much, and virtually no progressive or art rock tendencies (except perhaps Livgren’s own guitar work, which as always is quite good). I’ve read that Livgren claims to have spent two years putting this album together, but after numerous listens I have to wonder if he simply has a much lower threshold of effort than he did during the heyday of Kansas.

That aside, what I find particularly bothersome is that the man who just a few years prior wrote the uplifting and inclusive lyrics on “No One Together” from Audio-Visions -

“We're all together, harmony will abound; look at each other, all that was lost is found!

New situation if our direction's true, we're all together, Everyone is me and you”

has somehow come to a place in his mind where these are his idea of an inspirational lyrics –

“See the fire streak through the sky, children watching and wondering why;

Blameless blood cries from the ground, justice sleeping, open your ears to the sound.

Moving waves cover the Earth like a woman who's soon giving birth;

Feel the tension taking it's form as dark clouds gather, run for the eye of the storm:

When things get electric, when everything's done, we'll stand in the open and shine like the sun.

This moment's so fleeting, the blink of an eye, when things get electric, we're all gonna’ fly (it's the sweet by and by).

When morning's come and shadows have fled, we'll be walking where angels have tread;

Darkness turns, fleeing the light, the curtains rising, ending the reign of the night”.

The delivery is pleasant enough on “When Things Get Electric”, sounding a bit like the more accessible stuff Styx ever did, but holy cow – he’s singing about the apocalypse!

There’s a thread of a theme that runs through this album that I find unsettling. Each song is poppish, airy and smoothly delivered, but overall the message is – God is coming to destroy all this and take His chosen people away - whoopee!

Okay, so the second coming and millennium are a basic tenant of most sects of Christianity, but I think it’s a bit irresponsible for Livgren to be presenting this as something we should be actively encouraging and cheering on. Okay, if the Revelations story is true then this will happen someday, but seriously – what’s the hurry?!

Granted, the album was released more than ten years ago, but at the time Livgren, along with his sometime touring band AD, were favorites of Christian youth who tend to be somewhat sheltered, and at least as impressionable as any other people of young age without a lot of grounding in tempered, rational thought. In my lifetime we’ve seen the misguided souls of Heaven’s Gate swallow poison to chase the tail of a comet; hundreds of gullible fanatics of the People’s Temple swallow Kool-aid to pass beyond in Jonetown Guyana; a mass suicide in Uganda by the Ten Commandments of God cult; a series of suicides by the Solar Temple Canadian cult; and the ritualistic suicide by the leader of the World Church of the Creator in Utah. And today we all face daily peril thanks to Muslim and Christian fanatics alike who don’t hesitate to inflict pain and suffering in the name of ‘religion’.

True, most rational people, even those of faith, reject such fanaticism and distance themselves from such extremism. And I don’t believe Livgren actually had any intention of stirring such emotions in anyone. I believe he actually felt this was a sort of uplifting expression of his joy in finding the path he had been searching so long for.

And you won’t get this message just from listening to the music which, as I said before, is mostly light pop-influenced stuff. But the lyrics are such a departure from anything he ever did with Kansas, and even on his first solo album Seeds of Change, that they make me uncomfortable just reading them. Not the whole album, just the first four or five songs really.

I don’t know – this is an okay album musically, I especially like the rhythm of “Two Thousand Down” and Livgren’s guitar work on “One Dark World”, but I have to wonder if there are a few sad souls out there who heard some inner voice after obsessing on the doomsday and marginalizing lyrics and have since formed some unhealthy theology of exclusion and paranoia.

“When smoke is rising, won’t be long until the fire…” “We’re 2,000 down, wars and rumors across the land; you’re taken prisoner if you take a stand. We form allegiance to the left or to the right – a blazing morning or an endless night”. “The hour's late we can't negotiate - we're dancing on the edge of reason and we'll soon ignite”.

Maybe I’m reading too much into the messages here, or maybe I’m just too nostalgic, but I think this is a long, long way from the truly inspiring –

“Carry on my wayward son – there’ll be peace when you are done; lay your weary head to rest – don’t you cry no more”.


Latest members reviews

3 stars Kerry's return to focused music with more substance. This realease is all instrumental - it makes it easier to stay focused on the core of the things without vocals or melody dominance. Every single track is worth listening to and it can reveal more shifts upon subsequent listenings. On the ot ... (read more)

Report this review (#2080020) | Posted by sgtpepper | Saturday, December 1, 2018 | Review Permanlink

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