Kansas' 2000 album Somewhere to Elsewhere is notable because it's the first recording by the original six members in almost 20 years. Joining vocalist Steve Walsh, guitarist Richard Williams, vocalist/violinist Robby Steinhardt, longtime bassist Billy Greer, and drummer Phil Ehart are original guitarist/keyboardist Kerry Livgren and original bassist Dave Hope. Livgren wrote all ten songs. Somewhere to Elsewhere features the innovative dynamics, and long songs, of Kansas' early work while maintaining a crisply modern production sound. "Icarus II" is a marvelously intricate epic about bomber pilots; the bright piano and violin lines give way to blistering heavy metal guitar symbolizing a bombing attack. "When the World Was Young" is a groovy rocker with Walsh contributing a broad range of vocal tones. The richly moving "The Coming Dawn (Thanatopsis)" alternates between subdued and bombastic passages with Steinhardt's violin leading the way. The complex, nine-minute "Myriad" is arguably the most "progressive rock" moment on the album. Greer gets his first ever Kansas lead vocal on the easygoing "Look at the Time." Steinhardt sings on "Disappearing Skin Tight Blues," an unusual song with clever but uncharacteristic rhyming lyrics and '50s-like vocal group harmonies. "Distant Vision," another nine-minute piece, features Livgren's trademark: spiritual lyrics. "Not Man Big" has an oddly powerful, loose tempo and bitter lyrics about human folly. A short, goofy singalong acoustic studio jam is included as a hidden bonus track. Technology directly affected the recording of Somewhere to Elsewhere in a rather unsettling way. Walsh wasn't in the studio with the rest of the band. He was also working on a solo album at the time so he burned his vocals on CDs and traded them back and forth with Livgren. Portions of the album's profits will be donated to the World War II Memorial Fund.
Performance CreditsKansas Primary Artist
Kerry Livgren Guitar,Keyboards
Steve Walsh Vocals,Background Vocals
Phil Ehart Group Member
Billy Greer Bass Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals
Dave Hope Bass Guitar
Robbie Steinhardt Violin,Viola,Vocals,Background Vocals
Rich Williams Group Member
Technical CreditsKerry Livgren Producer,Engineer
Brad Aaron Engineer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Somewhere to Elsewhere marks the return of the original Kansas line up. A lot of times these ''reunion'' cd's are kind of depressing. A bunch of old guys getting together to relive past glory or make a quick buck. This is not one of those. Somewhere to Elsewhere is a beautiful album that retains the classic Kansas sound without sounding dated. Icarus II is one of the better songs Kansas has ever done and has a great storyline. Steve Walsh's voice sounds great and it's nice to hear Billy Greer taking a shot at lead vocals. I highly recommend this cd whether you're a long time Kansas fan or not.
I have to say that this is the best Kansas ''album'' I've bought since ''Audiovisions''.Those of you who are intelligent realize that was the last time all of the guys were together. There's really nothing like an original, and I have to agree with everyone else, they haven't lost a thing! I saw them last week,(at an amusement park!), and they were as great as ever. I sure hope they're doing another ''album'' soon. I see Kansas as often as possible, and my kids,(ages 3,6,8,10),love them as well. A whole new generation of Kansas fans! ''Kansas is a band!!''
As a classic Kansas fan, I had to buy this one for old times' sake. I never dreamed I would like it this much--it ranks right up there with their best work ever. There is an undeniable chemistry when these guys make music. I love the salutes to their past that are woven into the songs, but the album is in no way a re-hash of the old work. They're as fresh and innovative as they were when they started. And, as for Kerry Livgren's song-writing ability, what can I say except that the guy has to be the greatest creative genius progressive rock has yet produced. If you like this genre, you'll love this album!
Kerry Livgren is back and it's no mistake. Somewhere to Elsewhere took me back to 1979 and the pinnacle of Kansas' music. The music has depth, the lyrics are classic Kansas and the album is damn good. Sure, they are a little old, but for those of us approaching 40 with our musical roots firmly planted in the 1970's, this is is a great disc. Believe me, it ain't no Styx; it's pure Kansas; Rich, Phil, Dave, Steve, Kerry, Robby and more. Thanks guys, your true fans appreciate it!