A year and a half after KANSAS disbanded at the end of 1983, former lead singer and keyboardist Steve Walsh returned to revive the group along with original band members Phil Ehart and Rich Williams.
Bass player and vocalist Billy Greer (who had worked with Walsh in the short-lived band Streets after he left Kansas in 1981) completed the new line-up with guitarist Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs and later Deep Purple), who added a heavier, rockier sound to the band’s music.
They released “Power” the following year, in my opinion, one of the best albums in Kansas history, as it sounds typically ’80s, with catchiness and punch.
Starting with “Silhouettes In Disguise”, this track sets the album’s sound and style nicely; heavy guitar riffs, fast paced hard rock and a lovely rich, big drum sound. The title track again has the compressed drums to the fore and again it is a great hard / melodic rock tune.
“All I Wanted” sees the band going straight to a pure AOR melody full of synths with vocalist Steve Walsh giving a passionate delivery. He gets another chance in the awesome power ballad “Can’t Cry Anymore”, a real show stopper.
The acoustic based “Taking In The View” visits late ’70s classic Kansas, “Musicatto” adds a touch of classical music to the mix, while “Secret Service” allows Steve Morse to let fly both on heavy riffs and a couple of tasty solos.
“Tomb 19” is another great commercial ’80s AOR track full of dynamics and an insane catchy chorus.
Often overlooked by rabid Kansas fans, “Power” may not be like the band’s more prog rock leanings (which I love), but it’s a fantastic mid-eighties sounding Melodic Rock / AOR album (genre which I love even more!).
Songwriting, performances and production are first rate.
Now, finally “Power” has received a glorious 24-bit remastering and proper SHM-CD press which sounds truly great.
A must have for any ’80s MHR / AOR fan.
Kansas – Power [Remastered SHM-CD] (2012)
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