It’s been 16 years since the release of the previous Kansas album, “Somewhere to Elsewhere”. Today, with a brand new line-up they release “The Prelude Implicit” (Inside Out) on 23 September. In 2014, Steve Walsh (lead vocals, keyboards) left the band, and he was replaced by Ronnie Platt (lead vocals, keyboards) and David Manion (keyboards). Of course, it wasn’t easy to do an album without their two main songwriters: Kerry Livgren (lead guitar) and Steve Walsh. They recorded “The Prelude Implicit” with the help of outside songwriter and producer, Zak Rizvi. Obviously, they were very satisfied with his skills that they invited him to join the band as a second full-time guitarist, which he did.
The album contains 10 songs. “With This Heart” is the opener of the album and it’s ok, but “Visibility Zero” is better. There is an official lyric video for “Visibility Zero” on Youtube. I particularly like the lead guitar on “Unsung Heroes”. “Rhythm in the Spirit” is a heavy track, with great drums by Phil Ehart, one of the two founding members in this line-up. The epic, progressive “The Voyage of Eight Eighteen” is the most ambitious composition of “The Prelude Implicit”. It’s a great song and you need to listen to it many times to fully understand its depth and quality. The keyboard intro is beautiful and the interplay between keys, guitars and violin in the middle part is amazing. “Camouflage” has some really heavy riffs and I think they should play it live. The guitar solo in “Summer” and Platt’s vocals performance are memorable. I believe this song would have been a big radio hit in the ‘70s. It’s very addictive. “Crowded Isolation” starts with a drum intro. It’s another heavy song, but I exceptionally like the organ solo in the end. The album closes with “Section 60”, which is the only instrumental piece. David Ragsdale’s violin has the leading role. It’s a quite sad song and it ends with march-style drumming.
In conclusion, “The Prelude Implicit” is better than I originally expected. Kansas remain a great band, not only live but also in the studio. Nobody wanted them to replicate “Leftoverture” or “Point of Know Return”. They decided to do something new, which respects their legacy, without imitating their past.
Watch the lyric video for “Visibility Zero” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAT_R3Jages
Buy “The Plelude Implicit” from Amazon here .