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Kansas - Leftoverture CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.22 | 1019 ratings

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4 stars 1976. The time of grandiose, symphonic prog, when what the media described as overblown was king. Yes had released Going For The One, Genesis Wind & Wuthering, and bands such as Supertramp were craftily mixing the symphonic with commercial sensibilities.

So, what does an American band do to keep up? Why, release quite the most fantastic mix of what would come to be called AOR pomp rock with clear symphonic prog tendencies.

The most famous song they did is, of course, Carry On My Wayward Son, and it opens proceedings here. It is a glorious piece of pomp rock, and is deservedly on virtually every American classic rock compilation you can buy each and every Christmas.

What follows is American rock at its finest. There is an interesting, and very good, mixture of what we would call traditional symphonic prog, with magnificent moog and organ, with classic hard rock, a la Deep Purple in their prime at times, with a softer, accessible, American rock feel. The violins also bring into play a folk aspect to this album which is very welcome.

The music and lyrics are intelligent throughout, and, as far as the latter are concerned, none more so than on Cheyenne Anthem, the subject of which is rather obvious from the title. Thoughtful, sympathetic, and brought to bear by some marvellous musicianship, quiet throughout before building up to a grand finale. The violin solo is simply excellent, as are the complex keyboards which interplay with it. I think this is a haunting piece of music, and the best on the album.

This is a fine album of American progressive rock, and is highly recommended.

Four stars, and strong at that.

lazland | 4/5 |


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