Kansas
Leftoverture


3.0
good

Review

by arfenhausen USER (2 Reviews)
August 27th, 2007 | 41 replies


Release Date: 1976 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Does mixing pop and southern rock with progressive music work? Well it did for Kansas...atleast in some ways.

I have always made fun of Kansas for being a band that has only written two good songs – Carry on My Wayward Son and Dust in the Wind. One day my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to give Leftoverture a listen. The album borders between pop and progressive rock. The songs range from mainstream pop ballads to progressive instrumentals. It is safe to say that this album covers a lot of ground, and the band keeps material diverse while still maintaining the familiar “Kansas Style” of music.

There are some really great moments on this album. Carry on My Wayward Son is the opening track on Leftoverture. The song is catchy, fast, and has some killer guitar work. The soft vocal sections build into a classic chorus which is followed by fast riffing, a guitar solo, and even a keyboard solo. This song is by far the best on the album. It has great vocals and great musicianship and is also radio friendly. The beginning of the third track, What’s on My Mind makes for another great moment. The intro is great, the chorus is catchy, and the verses are decent. The song has a good solo, and some great energy. Next to Carry on My Wayward Son, What’s on My Mind is the best song on the album. The instrumental work on the next track, Miracles Out of Nowhere, is progressive and creative, but after this track the album starts to fade in quality.

The great moments on Leftoverture are often overshadowed by the not so great moments on the album. The second track titled The Wall has a great guitar intro, but once the guitar fades the listener is left with a dull, mediocre Kansas song. There is a good guitar solo in the middle of the song, but the lyrics and vocals are all dull making the song slow and uneventful. The fifth track, Opus Insert, has some pop style verses and an instrumental section that will turn any listener away from Kansas with ease. Questions of My Childhood seems like a failed attempt at a pop song. It is a generic song, and it gets old fast.

Around the seventh track, the album begins to salvage itself. Cheyenne Anthem is a slow ballad. The verse is backed by a keyboard, and there are some female background vocals, which add to the eerie atmosphere created by the song. The song isn’t great, but it’s not anywhere near as bad as the few songs which preceded it. There is a lot of cool keyboard work on the track which definitely makes it worth a listen, at least once. The final song of the album is more progressive than its predecessors. It is mainly instrumental, with some scattered vocals and a verse here and there. The song has some interesting parts, especially the keyboard riff at the beginning, but it also gets weird in some places and doesn’t flow well.

This album was a mix of decent songs, bad songs, and one amazing song. It was not a complete failure, as Kansas did produce some good material, but many of the songs seemed like filler. They weren't original, and just seemed like generic arena rock songs.

Despite it's shortcomings the album was not a bad listen, but I didn’t find it to be anything special. The opening track, Carry on My Wayward Son showed that Kansas was capable of making a great song, but they weren’t able to capture that same stroke of genius for the rest of the album. In some cases Kansas’s mix of progressive rock and southern rock was completely disastrous – like the song Opus Insert, but the mix proved successful on other tracks like What’s on My Mind. However, nothing on this album measures up to Carry on My Wayward Son or Dust in the Wind, so although Kansas does have some other decent songs, I think my assumptions were pretty accurate. Hopefully I will have more luck with their other albums


user ratings (177)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Alex101
August 27th 2007


129 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's good to see a review of a best album on this site, including this Kansas record. "Carry on My Wayward Son" is a classic hit.

ohcleverhansyou
August 27th 2007


885 Comments


Good review, though I have Kansas's greatest hits, I still only listen to those two.

sidfarkus
August 27th 2007


43 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's nice to finally see a Kansas review. I agree this album really does drop in quality towards the middle, Questions of my Childhood is pretty bad.

Slaytan
August 27th 2007


1186 Comments


Good review, I rather like the album art as well.

DekWannaBFlea
August 28th 2007


284 Comments


I'll have to check this out. This Message Edited On 08.28.07

arfenhausen
August 28th 2007


4 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

You could...but if you've already heard carry on my wayward son you pretty much know kansas...

thx for the comments ppl...

SabakaNjecu
January 11th 2008


9 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This was my first album of Kansas because of "Carry On Wayward Son" that I know from Yngwie Malmsteen. And from the first listening, I think that it´s very joyful to listen, with nice, soul caressing melodies. Nowaydays, as I have more albums from them I know they have better works...still I enjoy listening to this album, especially to its first part: Carry On Wayward Son is classic, The Wall is nice ballad, What´s On My Mind temperament song with, as you say, great intro, and finally, Miracles Out Of Nowhere are good example of polyinstrumental music (that is progressive rock!)-I love its middle passage.

Though my meaning about this album is better than yours, I still congratulate you-this is a well written review!

Foodforthegods
September 30th 2008


425 Comments


Listening to it for the first time. I love it!

Something shocked me...the beautiful solo part in Goodnight kiss by Dream Theater is a total ripoff of the son ''The Wall''. I start to think that DT stole lots of riffs. Same thing happened for when I've listened to some Marillion.

masterofpuppets8
July 17th 2009


72 Comments


Did anyone notice that the string section at the end of The Wall sounds the same as Dream Theater's 6 Degrees Overture?


masterofpuppets8
July 17th 2009


72 Comments


^^^
i didnt see that comment. yeah i kinda agree

endlessartix
August 28th 2009


275 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is a good album, the first and last tracks are the best. What really bothers me is the instrumental noodling and lack of actual songwriting that makes up most of the record. It's good to sleep to, but not much else.

Steelgil
December 12th 2009


1 Comments


I HAVE ALWAYS MADE FUN OF KANSAS FOR BEING A BAND THAT HAS ONLY WRITTEN TWO GOOD SONGS!!!!!

Are you fucking kidding me? What idiot would say something like that?!!
Leftoverture is a FIVE TIME PLATINUM ALBUM!
It is an absolute classic!! Every song on that album is brilliant!
A true classic mix of Great vocals and trememdous instrumention!
Not to mention, Point of Know Return! A FOUR TIME PLATINUM ALBUM.
Also loaded with great songs!

Lakes.
January 14th 2010


27806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No.

Digging: Arthur Russell - World of Echo

KILL
September 3rd 2010


71795 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

eh album isnt all that great

Paul H.
September 12th 2010


56 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

classic from start to finish

Lakes.
September 12th 2010


27806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

not really but it's close

Weed
August 15th 2011


161 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Is coo' y'all

DeadBeat
August 26th 2012


529 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Rules. The Remastered version is better.

Lakes.
August 26th 2012


27806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

agreed!

Gyromania
September 23rd 2012


15717 Comments


Underrated album



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