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Kansas
Kirshner KZ 32817
Released: June 1974
Chart Peak: #174
Weeks Charted: 10


Original Album
Advertising Art


I would not have guessed that the makings of a viable American counterpart to the British art rock outfits would emerge not only from the state of Kansas, but also via Don (the Archies et al.) Kirshner. At the core of this sextet are their arrangements: complex but accessible, and highlighted by the fluid violin of Robbie Steinhardt. Far beyond gimmickry, his playing belies the rarity of the instrument as a rock vehicle, especially on their lively treatment of J.J. Cale's "Bringing It Back." Everything else here is original, much of it owing a nod to Keith Emerson. But unlike many of their mentors, Kansas is well aware of the virtues of understatement, even in production: The finish of "Journey From Mariabronn" is particularly well crafted. Only on "Death of Mother Nature Suite," a somewhat clumsy heavy-metal dabbling, are they on shaky territory.

- Charley Walters, Rolling Stone, 7/18/74.

Bonus Review!

This encouraging debut reflected an infatuation with English art-rock. * * * *

- Rick Clark, The All-Music Guide to Rock, 1995.

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