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Kansas

Power

Review by Larry Toering

This is the first Kansas album to feature Steve Morse, and it holds up very well. It shows the potential they had as both a combo, and classic Kansas in every way. There is plenty of AOR and harder rocking tunes throughout, without losing the prog edge, making it a solid return, and a classic Kansas album in its own right.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Silhouettes in Disguise

This establishes the combo right away without forgetting it's Kansas, Morse is instantly recognizable. Still, they maintain the classic sound in the process. This isn't easy to achieve, and it doesn't stop here, as most of the recording follows in this sort of tradition.

Power

There is still no mistaking Kansas here, as Walsh sings and it's a done deal that way. Morse adds just the right amount of modernized guitar to blend them together even better than the opening track. This is a great cut, but there isn't much musical exploration, as it doesn't call for much of that because it's one of the tracks most aimed at airplay, with it's AOR heavy approach.

All I Wanted
This is another of those aimed at airplay, and quite deserving of it too. It's easily one of my favorites here. Both Walsh and Morse shine here, but the influence leans as much toward Morse as it does Walsh and Kansas, as it sounds very much like “Distant Star,” one of Morse's previously recorded tunes. I have to admit I like this a lot more, as it really is a full circle improvement. Since then has become a classic Kansas track. 
Secret Service
I love this infectious track. This is more fun than ten bands can manage at times. It combines all the elements that make Kansas AOR tunes as good as they are. There is more keyboards than guitar here and it fits the structure perfectly.
We're Not Alone Anymore
This starts off with drums for once, and they don't let up. This is one of the more energetic numbers on the disc, another favorite of mine, and a number I revisit a lot. Again here the combo factor is strong.
Musicatto
This is known as the magnum opus of the disc, as it is a fantastic instrumental with all the bells and whistles. It takes from both angles, to make as fine an epic track one could want. Both acoustic and electric guitar are featured by Morse.
Taking in the View
This is where Walsh stands out more than anyone, as it takes on a more classic Kansas approach.  This is a lovely little number, which features a children’s chorus. It sounds like more of a Kansas leftover, but a good one at that.
Three Pretenders
Another track in the same vein for the most part, Walsh dominates this one, as well.
Tomb 19
This is one of the more interesting songs, and another one of my favorites of the disc.
Can't Cry Anymore
This takes Walsh intro full ballad mode, and it's almost like saving the best for life. It is really more great stuff, but this disc is full of that commodity.

 


 

 
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