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Revolution of Mind [Digipack] CD, Import

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  • CD (18 janvier 2011)
  • Nombre de disques: 1
  • Format : CD, Import
  • Label: Mis
  • ASIN : B004EE301Y
  • Autres éditions : Téléchargement MP3
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Amazon.com: HASH(0x8a4e25d0) étoiles sur 5 38 commentaires
32 internautes sur 33 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8bb2330c) étoiles sur 5 A nice return to rock form -- 4.5 out of 5 14 novembre 2009
Par Brian H. Galloway - Publié sur Amazon.com
A little background: The first time I ever saw the name "John Elefante" was as producer on the Petra album "Back to the Street" in 1986, the one that also introduced John Schlitt as vocalist. That album was a return to a more organic rock sound for the band, after the very electronic "Beat the System." Soon after, I started seeing production credits for Elefante on Barren Cross albums, which was about as different from Petra as I could imagine. But I started equating the "produced by John & Dino Elefante" tag with quality, regardless of genre. Then the first Mastedon album came out, and I was floored hearing his vocals. Who was this guy? He could produce, he could sing, play keys, bass, and drums. What could he not do?

Then, the 90's hit, and Barren Cross and Mastedon went on hiatus, and I quit listening to Petra (I was on an alternative/metal high horse). The next time I listened to an Elefante production was "Scarecrow Messiah" by Bride in 1994. He (and Dino) still had it. The following year ('95), I was in a used record store and saw "Drastic Measures" by Kansas, which had "Fight Fire with Fire." I remembered loving this song on the radio when it came out in 1983 (along with "Incident on a Bridge"), and thought, "Cool! I'll buy it!" (It was only $1.) Lo, and behold, was I in for a shock when I read the credits and saw that "Fight Fire with Fire" (and most of the rest of the album, except for three songs) was written by John & Dino Elefante, and that he had been the lead singer. How weird was that!? Around this time, John released his first proper solo album. But, being on the high horse I mentioned earlier, I didn't care for it. Too soft, too poppy, too non-alternative.

Jump forward a full decade, and I find a "single" on eMusic of John covering "Dust in the Wind." Next thing I know, I'm in a Kansas revival of sorts, and I've got all of the Kansas albums, all of Kerry Livgren's non-Kansas albums, and all of John Elefante's solo albums. And you know what? I liked them. A lot. So much so, that I created a "John Elefante" playlist to include all songs he's had a writing credit on. I still listen to it several times a week. The only problem was -- where was a new album? Finally, on Kerry Livgren's site a few months ago, I saw a news note that he had played guitar on John's new solo album, which would be coming out soon. I crossed my fingers, hoping it would really happen.

So, finally, after 10 years, here it is. And it's very, very good. It's not as hard as earlier Mastedon and it's not as mellow as his previous solo stuff. It falls somewhere in between. In fact, it reminds me a lot of good ol' classic rock -- and I mean that in the best possible way. It's not trendy, but timeless, and will hold up well. It's great cruising music. I've been listening to it pretty much constantly the last few days since it was released. The production is solid (as I would expect) and John's voice is in fine form. I'm amazed how he has maintained it.

Bottom line: you're probably not checking this album out in the first place if you're not already a fan of his in some way. So, will you like it? If you like his solo stuff, but not his Mastedon stuff, maybe not. It's got a bit more of a rock edge and is definitely more guitar-driven. If, however, you liked his work with Kansas, Mastedon, or any of the heavier bands he's produced, then I think you will. It's a solid AOR album, and I've enjoyed playing it on my commute to and from work with the windows down.

Why four and a half stars and not five? Mainly because I would have liked it to be a bit more aggressive overall. The songs do have a nice driving beat, but I would have loved a song or two along the lines of "It's a Jungle Out There" or "Fight Fire with Fire," to take it into true "hard rock" category. Still, this is just a personal preference, not a knock against the solid rock album he actually made, and I hope he doesn't wait another 10 years to release his next one. Way to go, John. Thanks for 26 years of great music, even though I didn't know it was you waaaay back in 1983! :-)
18 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8bb23714) étoiles sur 5 John, We've Missed You! 24 novembre 2009
Par A. Stocke - Publié sur Amazon.com
John Elefante was injected into my musical experience in August of 1982. As the new lead singer of Kansas, he had just recently replaced Steve Walsh - the legendary frontman from one of the most popular and successful bands of all time. In fact, in 1981, Kansas was the largest grossing live act in the world. John more than held his own though, with his incredible vocal, keyboard, and songwriting abilities. There has been a long-standing argument as to who is the better vocalist. I don't go down this route as each musician brings his/her own signature - it's impossible to compare gifts.

John's effect on Kansas was immediate. His songwriting brought Kansas more into the mainstream with many songs he authored for their album `Vinyl Confessions' and later release `Drastic Measures'. This is where many Kansas fans dropped off, and I understand that. Kansas' evolution followed in step with what was happening in music as a whole . The MTV age was just being born - in fact, I can still remember `Play The Game Tonight' being a featured video in MTV's regular rotation. Yes, John's songs were shorter, and yes his voice was more pop than rock and no...Masque, Leftoverture and Point of Know Return will never be outdone; but, like it or not, it was a different time and John added a couple of more years to a great band's career.

Kansas disbanded at the end of '83. [Yes, they regrouped in '85 but in my opinion have never been the same. Why? One reason and one reason only - Kerry Livgren. Who and what is Kansas without Kerry Livgren?] Kerry went on to form `AD', a contemporary Christian rock band (which featured Dave Hope, Kansas' former bass player); John, along with brother Dino, moved into producing (Petra, Guardian, Sweet Comfort Band, etc.). In fact, their influence on Christian music at the time cannot be understated. You could hear their signature sound on everything they touched, and the quality of the music as a whole, from a production perspective, was head and shoulders above everything else in Christian music at the time.

John resurfaced in my pathway again in the summer of 1991, at the Cornerstone Festival, as a member of recently formed Christian rock band, Mastedon. This performance was the highlight of the festival. I'll never forget John's piercing voice, strong as ever, in the sweltering July heat, belting out `Islands In The Sky' - a Mastedon cult classic. Mastedon though, for me, never fully met expectations. Instead of the typical band approach, their releases featured a mixture of several different lead singers. As a fan of John's, this was always disappointing to me, because none of them held a candle to his ability. I always remember thinking `how great this song would have been if John had sung it!"

After Mastedon, John's career transitioned into mainstream Contemporary Christian Music both as a producer and solo artist. Even though his material was always at the top of this genre and of the highest quality, those of us who knew John, knew not only was this not his style, but it was nowhere near what he was capable of. There were flashes of his greatness at times that could be heard on songs such as `Don't Leave The Band' off the `Defying Gravity' release, but for the most part it was adult contemporary pop.

Flash forward to 2009. Ever have a favorite artist, after a long hiatus, reappear with the former energy and artistic edge that caused you to fall in love with them in the first place? That is `Revolution of Mind' for me. This is John Elefante at 100%. Not only are these songs edgy and well-written, but they have a blatant disregard for modern day musical rules - one example is `One Day Down By The Lake' which is almost 11 minutes long and will make Kansas fans proud! But, best of all - John sings lead vocals on every track! Also, Kerry joined up with John for the first time since their Kansas days and provided his obvious lead guitar talent.

I won't go through each song, but I will tell you `it's all here' - great vocals, incredible transitions, fabulous guitar work, deep and thoughtful lyrics - this is 60 minutes of music that will surprise you. It was great the first time I heard it and it's getting better. Another thing, and you hear this alot usually turning out to not be the case - this is the best John has ever sounded - better than anything he's ever done. Not just sonically, but his control and range have improved as well. If you were a fan of Kansas (pre or post Steve Walsh or pre or post 1985), Mastedon, John's solo work, or if you just simply enjoy music that is well done - get `Revolution of Mind' - you will not be disappointed.

I must add one thing that has my heart heavy - if you have not heard yet - Kerry Livgren suffered a serious stroke in early September. Updates can be found at [...].

Rock On!
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8a3838d0) étoiles sur 5 Awesome! Very Kansas like sound with Christian lyrics 11 novembre 2009
Par F0DD3R - Publié sur Amazon.com
Achat vérifié
It has been far too long for a John Elefante album. Finally! It is Christmas in November.

Coupled with Mastedon, the music is very similar to the classic Kansas sound. Track #4 is a good example where sequences sound very much like Song for America.

Great album!
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8bb238f4) étoiles sur 5 Fantastic Album!!! 26 mai 2011
Par P. Zeller - Publié sur Amazon.com
Achat vérifié
I have now had this CD three days. Normally, I will give a CD at least a couple of months before writing a review. However, the one has grabbed me and impressed me so much, I felt I needed to share my thoughts on this one right away. I have been unable to take this disc out of the CD player for very long and I continue to hit "replay".

First, a detail you might be interested in understanding. This album is essentially the same thing as the Mastedon "3" album released outside NA. The only apparent difference between the two is that "3" also contains a cover of Dust in the Wind. Other reviews indicate that cover being very good. However, I have not heard it and will not touch on it further here.

As you are probably aware, John has had a very prolific career as both a singer/songwriter and as a producer, gaining substantial noteriety as the replacement for Steve Walsh with Kansas in the early '80s. That included being part of a Top 20 hit (Play the Game Tonight) and two platinum albums. He is also notable for helping Petra regain its footing and a second wind during the late 80s and early 90s as their producer. So, he has developed a substantial amount of experience in the industry on both sides of the mike.

After leaving Kansas, one of the things John did, along with his brother Dino, was create the Mastedon project. The first two albums involved him playing and singing some, along with several other notable musicians and singers. The 1st album was a bit of a hit and miss affair. Good at times, very mid-eighties dated at others. The second is a very good, consistent album which has aged very well over the years musically. 20 years later, we come back around to his/their latest effort, Revolution of Mind.

Reading his web page, it would appear that he originally started out to make another solo effort. In the process, he picked up most of the core musicians involved in the first two Mastedon albums and decided it was becoming a band album. Looking at who is playing guitar throughout this CD (John, Kerry Livgren (Kansas, of course) and Dave Amato(REO Speedwagon amoung other bands), and you realize that the guitar playing has got to be good and that this really must be a band effort. And that is certainly what you get, and alot more.

As soon as the first track, the title track, begins, the listener immediately recognizes this as a Mastedon album. The song seems like a natural extension of the ending of Lofcadio. From there, this CD soars! There are great guitar solos throughout. John's voice is better than I have ever heard it previously, either with Kansas, Mastedon, or his official "solo" efforts. THere are, of course, the well developed choruses and spiritual lyrics, all built around good old AOR type rock and roll. Of course, being a producer, the production on this is top notch!
There is nothing weak, bad, or wrong about this album, not even down to a stray note or cord; not even a weak or trite turn of a phrase.

There are a couple of songs on this that DEMAND to be highlighted. First, easily the best song on this album, best of his career (including Play the Game w/ Kansas) and, already a new personal favorite song of mine, Nowhere Without Your Love. The guitars are deep, layered, and powerful. Think Boston at their very best....No joke and not a stretch! In fact, the chorus in this song is perfect and even suggests (strongly!) that John could do a very good job stepping in as a front-man for Boston....maybe not "replace" Brad Delp, but certainly honor is memory. This is an amazing anthem that I continue play over and over again. I almost never do that more than once, no matter how good a song. 10 or 15 listens in and it still grabs my full attention!

As you come off that amazing trip, the band launches the listener down another with the 10+ min One Day Down By The Lake. Here, John's history and exposure to Kansas comes back to the forefront. This is a somewhat more involved piece that John indicates was originally written with Kansas in mind. This song would have fit very well on Kansas' Somewhere to Elsewhere album (right down to a short, very "Robby Steinhardt like" violin solo) and is a fantastic song set. (one theme leads into a second, related, yet different, song)

The next song, Water into Wine, goes off into a different direction almost entirely. We get a very aggressive opening into a song that has a driven, yet almost bluesy, bass line that reminds you of a song Cinderella would have been happy to play. The only difference is that you get John's smooth, wide-ranging vocals (and a subtle choir backing toward the end of the song) rather than the patented Cinderella growl. Either way does or would work with this song. Very aggressive and still very melodic. Fun song even if the topic is alittle more serious than fun.

Finally, the other song that bears alittle more discussion is You Can't Take Anything. This one opens with a staccato keyboard and dives right into a straight ahead beat and vocals that harken the listener back to something similar to Foriegner. Whether intentionally or otherwise, John does a pretty good Lou Graham (in the 80s before his voice started to wear with age.).

What does this all mean. Simple, John is an artist and producer who has learned and retained much in the rock business over the last 30 years or so. He and the band bring it all to bear on this album. This is classic AOR with the pristene production qualities of the 21st century and a spiritually uplifting message. This is easly John's/Mastedon's best work. Perfect? I am sure he would say, "No". However, I can't find a fault with it anywhere. Buy this and you be the judge. Even if you find something "wrong" with it, you won't be able to help but enjoy this from begining to end and want to keep playing over and over. Count on it!

8/1/11 Update: my feelings about this album since this orginal posting have only been re-confirmed; this is a CLASSIC, great album. Every time I play this album, it gets a couple of repeats and, within that, I can not help but replay Nowhere without Your Love and One Day Down By the Lake. The Boston and Kansas comparisons I noted above have remained and have been re-inforced. Nowhere now easily ranks as one of my favorite songs of all time, bar none, secular or Christian!
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8bb23c48) étoiles sur 5 Welcome back John Elefante! Amato and the guys sound great! 17 décembre 2009
Par Douglas Symes - Publié sur Amazon.com
My fan pathway to John was: <rock> -> AD -> Kerry Livgren -> Kansas -> Mastedon -> John Elefante. Ever since the 2nd Mastedon album I have not heard a better rock album by a group of Christian musicians (produced before or after). This album is coming close. Of course I'll have to keep listening to it for another month or two to see if I like it more and more...as that is the true test.

I'm still working out which songs are my favorites. Obviously Kerry's guitar licks are clear in One Day Down By The Lake and the Song For America section starting at 1:38 is a great throwback to the good ol' days! The transitions are gorgeous with John's lofty vocals. By the way, Kerry's treatment from the stroke went well and his speech is back, guitar playing is not coming so quickly. There is a link to a video testimony he and Vicki gave Thanksgiving weekend at Topeka Bible Church, you can find the link at Kansasband.com's NEWS page under "Kerry L. Update"

Anyway, love the album, it rocks well, Amato sounds fabulous on guitar! Nowhere Without Your Love reminds me a little of Boston songs.

When will they tour? I know it is a studio band, but a guy can dream can't he?
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