Kansas - Vinyl Confessions (reissue)

Tuesday 1st April 1997
Kansas - Vinyl Confessions (reissue)

RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
LABEL: Epic/Legacy 4811622

Reviewed by David Cranson

An album from 1982 made when Kerry Livgren, guitarist, keyboard player and writer with Kansas, had become a Christian and was clearly driving the band in the direction of his new-found faith. Steve Walsh, who had left the group after 'Audio-Visuals', was replaced by John Elefante - before he and brother Dino went on to become influential producers/writers for most of Christian rock's artists (Mastedon, Petra, et al...). John's voice here is as good then as it was with Mastedon and more recently on his solo album, handling the ballads and rockers equally as effectively. No matter which band member is involved in the writing, the lyrics don't really descend to the banal rock anthems which became so popular in the mainstream '80s, a few examples being "Fair Exchange", "Chasing Shadows" and "Play On". One defining line from "Fair Exchange" is "All for the good of the people/Better that one man should die." Nothing is too in-your-face, because they were not targeted at an overtly Christian market but still you can get the message. Christians were to write to Kerry to tell him they found the albums - as well as the previous albums - helpful for discussion and conversations within their own churches and with those who were searching - as Kerry Livgren had done for a decade or so until 1979. If your tastes veer towards '70s/'80s "art rock" then this oldie but goodie should definitely be investigated.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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