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Masque (Bonus Track Version)

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Reseña de álbum

Kansas' third album, Masque, is a lyrically dark effort courtesy of guitarist/keyboardist Kerry Livgren's brooding songwriting. Musically, Masque foreshadows the tight melodies and instrumental interplay on the next two albums, Leftoverture and Point of Know Return, which together serve as the peak of Kansas' vision. The band deserves more respect than it gets for incorporating British hard rock and progressive rock to become the only U.S. progressive rock band of note during the genre's 1970s heyday. Robbie Steinhardt's violin work certainly helped give Kansas a distinctive sound. The liner notes indicate Masque is a "concept album" thanks to the title's definition: "A disguise of reality created through a theatrical or musical performance." Vocalist/keyboardist Steve Walsh's "It Takes a Woman's Love (To Make a Man)" is the leadoff track, and it's atypical of the rest of the album. The song is a fairly basic yet groovy pop/rock tune about musicians' loneliness on the road, but it is spiced up with some saxophone lines. "Two Cents Worth" addresses guilt, misery, and spiritual longing — pretty heavy stuff for six guys who were only in their mid-twenties. In "Icarus—Borne on Wings of Steel," Kansas' prog rock ambitions show through the mythology-based lyrics and the densely arranged guitars and keyboards. Walsh and Steinhardt's "All the World" is largely a bleak examination of loneliness and death, although it does end with a glimmer of hope. "Child of Innocence" is a tough blast of hard rock with a soaring chorus. "Mysteries and Mayhem" rocks along, yet it's rich with haunting nightmare imagery and biblical references. The nine-and-a-half-minute epic "The Pinnacle" closes the album. [The 2001 CD reissue on Epic/Legacy adds previously unreleased demos of "Child of Innocence" and "It's You."]

Reseñas de usuarios

My secret Kansas album

Masque was the "underground" album- once Leftoverture hit the waves that was it. But my first heavy dose of Kansas was Masque and it has remained on my Fall and Winter lists for the last 30 odd years (I know it's sad but whatever season I was first exposed to an album or song tends to remain the season when I listen to it). Simply an excellent album from start to finish. They were under pressure to produce a hit and tried hard with the first song which is, in fact, a pretty good tune but they really show their writing and playing prowess throughout the rest of the album. More accessable than Genesis, harder edged than Yes, way better lyrically than ELP (sorry, Greg, I still love ya), Kansas is America's big answer to progressive rock and they put together in Masque, Leftoverture and Point Of Know Return some of the best prog rock ever. So check out Masque. They were still searching for a break, yet refused to churn out an album of cookie-cutter rock.

Kansas's best Pre-Leftoverture Album

Masque is in every way a prequel to Leftoverture, but is a darn good album on its own. The group's songwriters (Kerry Livgren and Steve Walsh) make noticeable efforts to combine their signature prog-rock styles with other forms of popular (at the time) music, such as funk rock (in "Two Cents Worth") and hard rock (in "Child of Innocence"). Livgren's "Icarus-Borne On Wings of Steel" is probably the best combination of prog rock and mainstream rock that was ever made. But the album's finest moment is its last one: the album closing epic "The Pinnacle" is so powerful, so epic, so mindblowing, that by the time it ends you'll be moved in one way or another.

American Prog-Rock At It's 1970's Best...

The first song is a stab at AM radio airplay, but the rest is FM all the way. My previous review has been deleted. Why?


Se formó en: 1970 en Topeka, KS

Género: Rock

Años de actividad: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Fusing the complexity of British prog rock with an American heartland sound representative of their name, Kansas were among the most popular bands of the late '70s; though typically dismissed by critics, many of the group's hits remain staples of AOR radio playlists to this day. Formed in Topeka in 1970, the founding members of the group — guitarist Kerry Livgren, bassist Dave Hope, and drummer Phil Ehart — first played together while in high school; with the 1971 addition of classically...
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Masque (Bonus Track Version), Kansas
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