Reviewed by Plamen on 01 Dec 2000
It is always the same. When a legendary group is starting up it is a difficult way until the main concept is proven, the parties in the band are synchronized, the sound is defined, the leader(s) are recognized. This first album of KANSAS is featuring with all these birth-pains. Some of the songs are written in 1972 and 1973 when the band has their gigs in rodeo-shows. But the crystalized concept to be different from the ordinary rock groups has prevailed.
Steve Walsh and Kerry Livgren are leading most of the tracks. Musical duets between them are the skeletons around which the other members has put thier contribution and thus created exceptional songs. The ballad "Lonely wind" is a hint of the forthcoming in the "Point of know return" undisputable worldwide hit "Dust in the wind". But this is just the beginning. This album is marked with the huge energy which is bursting in every track. The tracks are following each other played with easiness and perfection. It is not right to distinguish some of them but for the real prog fans the "Death of the Mother Nature" and "Apercu" are the most brilliant ones.
And as I told you it is always the same. Next albums are much more polished and glossy. If you would like to enjoy the raw energy of the great band - listen to the album. It will bring you what we all miss these days.
Reviewed by MJBrady on 23 Jul 2002
This debut recording from the legendary US progband Kansas, hardly put them on the forefront of the prog community, although those who discovered the bands music by way of the radio on their more prominent recordings such as Leftoverture, Point of Know Return, were so taken by the lure of this bands musical talents, that it was inevitable they would discover the bands music retroactivly, and they also were soon to find out that this bands most progressive years were from it's onset on this self-titled album, on Masques, & Song for America, and through the next few releases in order of dates released. Kansas, the album of the same name, was raw and unrefined, but all of the classic elements of the band were very much in place, the harmonies of Walsh and Steinhardt, the insightful, and enlightened lyricism, epic songs, and the definitive sound of the band was something that came strictly from each members unique musical gift, Steinhardts violin, the dual keyboards, and dual guitars, and Dave Hope's busy bass playing, as well as Phil Ehart's colorful, and technical drumming, but their sound was one that could only flourish in the context of the chemistry of it's collective members, as many would discover on later albums, that apart from the core group of musicians, the band would never discover the magic that occured on their first 5-6 albums. If you are one that has an affinity for this groups most progressive moments, this debut album is well serserving of your attention
Reviewed by Eric on 24 Dec 2005
To be honest, I don’t listen to Kansas anymore, or if I do it’s a rare event. It’s the same with Styx
. Maybe I am suffering burn-out, or maybe I have just grown beyond this style of music? More than likely the former, not the latter, but if I do play any Kansas it will be the bands first three albums which I still have a soft spot for and thankfully never hear on ‘Classic Rock’ radio anymore. There is a God.
Kansas was recorded in less than a month, yet clearly blazes the trail these Dust Bowl troubadours would follow for the next half dozen years. Guitarist Kerry Livgren has stated for the most part the lyrics on this album really had no meaning which I can believe as some of it just makes zero sense. Instrumentally these guys were at the top of their game and on Can I Tell You and Death of Mother Nature Suite they were in a class of their own, creating a new truly American progressive music