Reviewed by Ato Erzan-Essien
It was 1997 when a singer/songwriter from Chanute, Kansas, Jennifer Knapp released her debut record label album. To celebrate that little bit of music history Gotee Records have expanded it to this 'Gold' edition. 'Kansas' was one of CCM magazine's Top 100 Greatest Albums, and it went on to sell over 500,000 units. The 10 years that have passed since the original album's release have been kind, and the strong songwriting and simple instrumentation have not dated. Jennifer's expressive voice, which is comparable to Alanis Morrisette in her less angry mode, is kept at the centre of it all. There are an additional seven tracks including several live versions of songs from the original album and the track "Jesus Loves Me" from 'Wishing Well', the independent album that preceded 'Kansas'. The album has also been remastered and the simple instrumentation and clean production shine through, supporting the songs and voice and never intruding. Jennifer supported this album touring the US primarily in churches, and it is easy to see how the songs would translate into this setting. And the live tracks, in comparison to the studio set from the album, really rock out and an extra, gritty dimension to her voice is revealed. For those who don't already own 'Kansas' this version should be an essential purchase, and for those who already do, it is well worth acquiring for the extra tracks and remastering. A modern music classic.
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