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Kansas - Always Never The Same CD (album) cover

ALWAYS NEVER THE SAME

Kansas

 

Symphonic Prog

3.39 | 128 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
2 stars We're not in Kansas anymore

When looking at the track list of this album you will immediately notice several familiar song titles which might lead you to assume that this is either a live album or a compilation of some kind. It is not a compilation as all the material here is newly recorded. It isn't a live album either, though it does have a live feel. But neither is it a regular studio album. What we have here is the band re-recording some of their classic songs and a few new ones together with the London Symphony Orchestra.

The album was recorded in the famous Abbey Road Studios in London, England and this location explains why they choose to open the album with a cover of a well-known band that is associated with the studio in question. This is followed by orchestral versions of Kansas classics like Song For America, Miracles Out Of Nowhere, Dust In The Wind, and Hold On, alternating with orchestral interludes and some newly written songs.

In my opinion, Kansas' wonderful music is not benefited by the orchestral treatment and the presence of the orchestra adds little of value. The novelty of the orchestra wears off pretty quickly and one is left wondering what the point of the whole exercise is.

Preamble is composed by conductor Larry Baird and functions like an intro to Song For America while Prelude And Introduction is an orchestral medley of some other Kansas songs. The most interesting new compositions are In Your Eyes, The Sky Is Falling, and Need To Know, all of which were written by Steve Walsh. These are not essential by any means, but at least they make this album worthwhile for the fans as they are not available elsewhere.

The selections from the band's back catalogue are rather predictable and most of these songs are featured in much better versions on multiple live albums. If you wish to hear Kansas performing with an orchestra with much better results than what can be heard on this album, I would recommend the very much better live concert video and album There's Know Place Like Home.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |

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