If you're looking for classic Kansas sound, you may be disappointed in this album. There are no compositions by Kerry Livgren, and there's no violin. Is that such a bad thing? Let's face it, I have lots of albums I absolutely love and only a few meet that criteria.
If you are, however, looking for a great album you are in for a real treat. This album, crafted in the likes of the earlier "Power", creates a mood that is almost spiritual in nature, evoking mental imagery seldom found in pop music.
Although the songs on this album are not centered around a particular theme, there is an underlying thread which ties them together and carries the mood from start to finish. The title track and The Bells Of St. James still give me the chills.
The inclusion, once again,of Steve Morse taking on axe duty is nothing if not a bonus. His chops enhanced the emotion in every song, carrying them forward to climax.
Without a doubt, this surprising album ended up being my favorite Kansas album and in my opinion the best album of 1988. At the time, I could not believe this album didn't have a bigger impact on the charts (did it even make it?). Every person I introduced this album to was amazed. Although this album was released 15 years ago, it still holds up well today.
A definite buy in my view, even at full price.