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Kansas - Masque CD (album) cover

MASQUE

Kansas

 

Symphonic Prog

3.66 | 466 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Warthur
Prog Reviewer
2 stars A mixed bag of an album - one wonders whether the title was Kansas' sneaky way of letting the world know that this didn't represent their real identity, but merely offered a veneer of commerciality for the sake of appeasing their record company. It Takes a Woman's Love (To Make a Man) is just as vapid a piece of mid-1970s hard rock as the title implies, with occasional organ breaks from Steve Walsh which feel like a pastiche of Tony Kaye's playing on the Yes Album, only less prominent because we can't turn off those MOR radio listeners, can we?

From there the album veers between chasing a broader audience and catering to those fond of their more progressive style; Two Cents Worth feels like a failed attempt to mimic Steely Dan, for instance, whilst on tracks like Icarus (Bourne on Wings of Steel) or concluding micro-epic The Pinnacle the band offer polished, quality progressive pieces which demonstrate where their affections truly lie. It's only on such pieces that Kansas feel like they're actually expressing a distinct personality, rather than masquerading as one chart-topping AOR outfit or another.

Because of the presence of the superior pieces, this album isn't a complete waste of time, but at the same time it's rather badly sabotaged by the presence of some real clunkers, with the result that even if you are sold on Kansas' particular style of progressive rock, you may well find that you're better served if you can find a decent compilation or live album covering the better numbers from here and leaving the album itself on the shelf.

Warthur | 2/5 |

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