Reviewed by MJBrady on 18 Oct 2003
As each passing year continued, Kansas was facing some challenges both in personnel and changing musical climates, Livgren left the band, Steve Walsh had taken some time away, and the band was found in a bit of an identity crises. The band had somewhat disassociated themselves with their original fanbase, during their early years, they had established themselves as one of the US's most credible contributors to the progressive rock movements, later they garnered much attention from the mainstream fans with some notorious radio hits.
Than came the tumultuous years, where they had abandoned the very sound that made them unique, bringing in a new lead singer, downplaying the importance of the violin, and all but forgetting the very substances that made them the band they were. The had become a vague shadow of their former selves, and were trying to find a niche in either the contemporary Christian circles, or the poprock, arena rock crowds. Sales may have indicated the bands' fans felt a bit left out, and in an effort to regain their once popular audience, Walsh was broght back in, and they also enlisted the addition of Dixie Dregs guitar maestro - Steve Morse.
There is no doubt that Morse allowed the band to exert it's flare for intensity and instrumentation, yet many would agree, that the chemistry of Walsh and Livgren as writers was the biggest reason the band clicked from it's onset. Very few songs on POWER have the same staying power as the vintage collaborations between Livgren and Walsh. And as a whole the music seems to be an attempt at redefining a band that had it right the first time. This album does have some great moments on it, the song Musicatto rates as a great instrumental tune, yet the mystique that was injected by Livgren's insight in the bands lyrical content is missing, as are the great two part harmonies that Walsh and Steinhardt were famous for, as you can see in the artists credits, Steinhardt was not part of the band at this time.
An odd era for the band, yet the recording does have it's share of upside, perhaps not the record to start with if discovering the band, but for Morse fans, and Kansas completists, Power is worth adding to the library.