Kansas's story seems to have been invented for the morality plays of VH-1's "Behind the Music," a soap opera of betrayal, intrigue and now reunion. In the mid 1970's, the band hit the big time with songs like "Carry On Wayward Son" and "Dust In The Wind," but by the end of the decade the religious conversions of key players Kerry Livgren and Dave Hope had thrown a monkey wrench into what was until then a well-oiled machine. Livgren's new Christian themed lyrics were too much for frontman Steve Walsh to stomach. Rather than sing lines like "There's a hunger life can never fill til you face the one who rose," Walsh quit, replaced by John Elefante. Unbeknownst to all in the band, Elefante was a devout Christian himself.

With Elefante on board, Kansas soared once more with gems like "Play The Game Tonight," and "Fight Fire With Fire." After two records, the new lineup fizzled as the Christians jumped ship. Since then Kansas has continued to record with Walsh at the helm again, but the music was stale and half-baked without Livgren, the chief songwriter who had been the driving force behind the songwriting on most of the band's hits.

On the new album, "Somewhere to Elsewhere" Kansas has managed to regroup and set aside their old differences. Though it doesn't appear that Walsh has embraced Livgren's faith, he doesn't seem to be uncomfortable singing his lyrics--which include lines like "If the price is too high, you better look to the sky."

With its complex arrangements and ethereal lyrics, the album will have great appeal, especially those fans of the pre-Elefante Kansas. For fans of Elefante's soaring voice and incisive lyrics, which are missing here, "Somewhere To Elsewhere" may be a bit of a letdown.

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