CD review KANSAS ‘The Absence of Presence’

The Kansas song par excellence is certainly ‘Carry On Wayward Son’, as you know in its the original version or in one of the countless cover versions. In addition, ‘Dust in the Wind’ is another hit penned by the band from Kansas. Both songs have been around for decades, as they have been present to fans in the second half of the ’70s. Not only have the songs survived all these years, Kansas themselves are still active and go to work with a strong punch. This summer they present their already sixteenth studio album ‘The Absence of Presence’.

The driving force of Kansas are the founding members Rich Williams (g) and Phil Ehart (d) together with Billy Greer, who has been a member of the band for 35 years. The line-up is completed by Ronnie Platt, David Ragsdale, Tom Brislin and Zak Rizvi. All seven together created a new masterpiece called ‘The Absence of Presence’, which shows the band in excellent shape and form.

Built on a strong foundation of experience, musical skills and creative ideas, Kansas shows all the young talents how to bring melody and complexity to perfection. None of the new tracks on the new album is characterized by simplicity. Different layers create rocking soundscapes without ever being a goal in itself. Skills and musical capabilities are part of a toolkit that enables Kansas to write and perform great songs wit many twists. It is always the songs with their harmonies and melody that are the primary focus. Kansas, that is not seven individual specialists in their field. Kansas and their new longplayer are bigger than the individual components. It is the pieces that make up a greater whole, something that has never changed significantly over the decades.

It is certainly not very useful to pick out single songs of this well-crafted sound construction. It is the entirety that counts, which is best discovered by listening to ‘The Absence of Presence’ again and again.

Kansas and ‘The Absence of Presence’, that is sophisticated rock, rooted in the ’70s merged with a modern sound and a lively dynamic, ensured by a modern production. This album is definitely a recommendation for anyone who calls himself a rock fan.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. The Absence of Presence
  2. Throwing Mountains
  3. Jets Overhead
  4. Propulsion 1
  5. Memories Down the Line
  6. Circus of Illusion
  7. Animals on the Roof
  8. Never
  9. The Song the River Sang

Label: InsideOut Music

Genre: Progressive Rock

Release Date EU: July 17th, 2020

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