Legacy - Where We Go...

Year of Release: 2000
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 41:30:00

There are strong similarities to early Kansas on Legacy's first CD, Where We Go. The first few songs are representative of the strong cross currents of Southern Soul and European Prog. Though singer Frank Hartis reaches for the falsetto styling of Jon Anderson, the music is definitely not as complex as that of Yes.

The style is symphonic / melodic, with a noticeable departure from long, complex, fusion-driven elements. The band steps somewhere between traditional progressive and a middle-ground of accessibility. For this reason, it may less of interest to die-hard prog affectionados, and more to those who prefer highly melodic forms of prog, or those who are in an early point of exploration and are coming from more commercial genres.

The first two songs, "Take A Look At Yourself" and "Choices" seem so much like 80s Kansas and Yes (in a good way) with their floating melodic choruses and easy feel. It's not until "West World" that the band experiments with bridges, transitions and chord changes. Here, Hartis's vocal suddenly starts to sound like Phil Collins. It's as though Hartis, a talented singer, is looking for an identity but can't help paying homage to his many influences.

I love track 4, "Trappings." This is vintage Genesis Trick Of The Tail era. Even the lyrics are strongly indicative of that period. At over 8 minutes, the song has a chance to explore a little as well. The song contains a lengthy, spacey instrumental passage that is strongly reminiscent of Close To The Edge. However, it's the song's infectious melody that remains hooked in your consciousness long after the song ends.

"On The Power," Hartis now begins to sound like Gabriel, or more specifically Cyrus (Citizen Cain) sounding like Gabriel. The song has some powerful lead guitar, something that had been missing for most of the CD.

Nice sweeping symphonic textures abound and great keyboards drive the instrumental, "Time Travelers," which is no more than a three and a half minute bridge to the final song, "No Where To Run." This song has great potential, but the arrangements and mixing are a bit off. In places the song sounds a bit amateurish. However, the composition and changes are interesting. The album ends with the listener wanting to hear more, and this is a rare occurrence these days.

The recording quality of Where We Go is a little on the thin side. This is my chief criticism. Obviously money was a factor in this, but the lack of ripping guitar, thundering bass, lush keys are noticeable absent. Even worse, an 80's style electronic snare drum really drags the work down. Though no drum machines and sequencers are used in this recording, it would have been a much wiser idea to have an acoustic drum sound. It's not until halfway through the CD where the more rootsy acoustic sounds brings the music to a level of excellence. Here the influences start to lean more towards mid- seventies Genesis.

I would have had some mixed feelings about endorsing the Legacy CD simply because, at 41 minutes, there's not a lot of room for error. However, the weaker first half becomes more addictive with each listen. In the end, there's some strong songwriting here. While Legacy's first CD will not be known as one of the top releases of the year in prog circles, it serves as a precursor for better things to come.

Take A Look At Yourself (5:37) / Choices (6:00) / West World: Object Of Desire (7:24) / Trappings: Ocean Of Light / Cosmic Waltz (8:29) / The Power (4:27) / Time Travelers (3:36) / No Where To Run (5:45)

Frank Hartis - lead vocals
Mitch Hensdale - keyboards, acoustic guitars, drums and percussion, vocals
Ricky Chaffin - guitars
Dale Black - bass, bass Synthesizer, vocals
Kevin Best - saxophone
Backing Vocals - Kristen Hensdale, Karen Steelman, Tammy Craven, Jennifer Lingle

Where We Go (2000)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: November 1st 2000
Reviewer: Richard Zwyotkiewicz

Hits: 870
Language: english


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