Top critical review
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A 'Best Of', With Ups And Downs
on 3 October 2001
The harmonious and beautifully arranged 'The Wall' is one of the highlights, a composition you can't help falling for, quite immediately. And there's the classic 'Song For America' which barely needs further presentation - a must-hear.
Another highlight, of course, is the beautiful ballad 'Dust In The Wind' which, however, could have been from any band. Still, its presence on 'Best Of' is highly justified, since it is one of the best of its genre from Kansas.
A song like the opening 'Carry On Wayward Son' is more straight forward, on the edge between prog rock and rock'n'roll - and yet, its arrangement, the guitars, the drums, the piano, are very typical for the Kansas sound.
'Play The Game Tonight' is a typical 1980s song on which the band sounds very much like Foreigner or Asia. That one is not bad. But on 'Perfect Lover', and especially on 'Fight Fire With Fire', this 1980s sound becomes far too pop'ish, and it seems disappointing that these songs have been chosen for a so-called 'Best Of' album.
So all in all, 'The Best Of Kansas' is a compilation album with ups and with downs. Seen from a chronological and musically developmental point of view, the album does provide a good way of getting to know Kansas. But seen from a pure quality point of view, the ten songs are not the ten best ones, and my guess is that any admirer of Kansas will confirm this.
Taste differs, but what Kansas is all about, what Kansas is known and respected for, is their style from the 1970s rather than the 1980s development.