Song for America
Kansas - Arranger
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Bruce Beatlefan (April 19, 2008)
I was a Kansas fan/collector until they dropped off my radar after their fifth album, Point of Know Return. My impression was that their odd-numbered albums were unified in sound (Kansas-Southern Rock, Masque-prog rock, Point of Know Return-spiritual searching leading to Kerry Livgren's conversion to Christianity), while the albums in between were transitional as they morphed their sound from one to another. In my opinion, these morph albums, Song for America and Leftoverture were much better, and that Song For America was the best album Kansas ever did, one of the all-time jewels in my record collection.
The Southern rock sound still resonates in the hard-driving tracks "Down the Road" and "Lonely Street" while the string-and-synthesizer, long prog-rock passages of "Song for America" and "Incomundro" are as good as any to be heard from Kansas, as they aspire to the levels achieved by ELP and Yes. Meanwhile, the nascent spiritual overtures of Kerry Livgren are to be found in the tracks "Lamplight Symphony" (dreamy) and "Devil's Game" (hard-rocking). The result is a superb album, and the Kansas album which I would most recommend.
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