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The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
Kansas The Prelude Implicit Review
KANSAS
THE PRELUDE IMPLICIT

INSIDE OUT MUSIC
Release Date: September 23rd 2016

Kansas

When I was young Kansas was one of those giant US bands that you read about in the press yet would never quite reach into the pocket to purchase an album sight unseen and never heard (no internet, no radio play in the UK). Many years later of course I have heard Kansas and yes I was probably right at the time, they would never have held up against Van Halen or Aerosmith for a teenage boy, there was just something a little indulgent about their sound.
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These days of course I can appreciate tracks like 'With This Heart' and 'Visibility Hero' that open up this latest album even if they are still a bit grand and Proggy, US Prog to me at least was always less pompous than the UK variety, but each to their own.

With only drummer Phil Ehart from the original line-up you might be surprised how much 'The Prelude Implicit' sounds like Kansas especially without Kerry Livgren who suffered a stroke in 2009 or founding member, lead vocalist and keyboardist Steve Walsh who retired in 2014.

Best here is perhaps 'The Unsung Heroes' which has some sumptuous orchestration and a mellow swing as well as a great vocal from Ronnie Platt. It's close though as the heavier side of Kansas comes through nicely on 'Rhythm in the Spirit'.

Elsewhere classic Kansas is on show wherever you turn, it may have taken 16 years for this one to drop but the sheer reverence shown to the legacy of the band and the sheer class in execution is astounding. Some may argue that 'The Prelude Implicit' isn't Proggy enough, but I'd argue that just makes it more appealing to a wider audience without really selling out.

The album ends with one of the most rewarding instrumentals I've enjoyed in ages: '10 Section 60' really showcases the instrumental prowess of each of Kansas' members beautifully and really underlines what a great addition this is to the catalogue. This may still be Prog but it's a work of such richness and depth it has a much wider appeal.


TRACKLIST
With This Heart
Visibility Zero
The Unsung Heroes
Rhythm in the Spirit
Refugee
The Voyage of Eight Eighteen
Camouflage
Summer
Crowded Isolation
Section 60
Home on the Range
Oh Shenandoah

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Review by Mark Rockpit