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November 01, 1977 - Image 15

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1977-11-01
Note:
This is a tabloid page

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.



Page 12-Tuesday, November 1, 1977--The Michigan Daily

Kansas:

The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, Nc
Unknown first-ra

By AUSTIN VANCE
All too often when one buys an
album that has an artistic jacket,
what is pleasing to the eyes is
disappointing to the ears. Don't be
scared to purchase the new Kansas
album (JZ 34929) Point of Know
Return however, because sand-
wiched between two fine fantasy
drawings is an excellent record.
This is a make-or-break album for
Kansas. Despite constant touring and
energetic concerts they have only
attracted an audience about the size
of a cult and a half. This recording
should push them from the ranks of a
band known by few into -a group
appreciated by many. Ah, you say,
tell me more.
Kansas consists of Paul Ehardt on
percussion, Dave Hope on bass,
Kerry Livgren on guitars, piano,
synthesizers . . . (you get the idea),
Robby Steinhardt on violin, Steve
Walsh on organ and piano, Rick
Williams on guitars. I think it is only
fair to mention the producer, Jeff
Glixman, as this is one of the
better-produced records of this year.
One final note, Don Kirshner of (I
presume) Rock Concert fame owns
the copyrights to all the songs.
Popularity does have its drawbacks.
On to the album. The title track

leads off this record, a song hinting
about the dangers of acquiring too
much knowledge. Paradox is a "is
there more to life" type of song,
followed by a short instrumental
piece Spyder which leads into Por-
trait (He Knew) the song that has
been getting the most airplay.
Surprisingly, Portrait is also the
best song on the album. It is a fantasy
about a visionary prophet who knew
the answer to the question of life but
didn't tell anybody. This concept
may sound corny, but it works well
with the music.
Closet Chronicles is an electronic
ballad, if one can consider anything
electric a ballad. It centers around
the theme money can't buy happi-
ness.
The King is in the closet
He's hiding from today
And though he owns all fortunes
This room is where he'll stay.
The only bad thing about this side
is the end, the experience of being
jolted back into reality after 18
minutes of fantasy is similar to
stepping outside in January.
Before we plunge into the next side
of this album, let me try to describe
the "sound" of Kansas. I would say it
is a cross between Yes and Jean-Luc
Ponty. No doubt this will raise the

hackles of a few fans of those bands,
but I am not comparing them,
merely trying to find a bracket to
place their music in.
Opening the second side is Light-
ning's Hand, in which Walsh tells us
how he controls the weather. Dust in
the Wind contrasts nicely, it is a laid-
back acoustic number perfect for
listening when one is burned-out.
The masterpiece on this side is
Sparks of the Tempest. How much
control do we have over our lives?
The view of Kansas is:
Your future is managed and your
freedom's a joke
You don't know the difference as
you put on the yoke
The less that you know the more
you fall into place

A cog in t
on your fac
The perc
nify the an
ly. A cosmi
Nobody's
message c
lifeless ply
closes out t
adequately
I would c
the big alb
the ingredi
cial succes
follows a si
many greal
don't reflec
So do your
and pick up

yo fall into place and pick up

i
, 1,1
,,
1

7

It's Hard To Beat Our D
3 TOP RATED N tMU R Z RECEIVERS O

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FT 484
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SALE

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CAR STEREO
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All items subject to prior sale-quantities are limited--stle ends November 7.

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