Shawn Sutherland | Dallas, TX United States | 07/29/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The extent to which you like this album will be dependant upon how much you like John Elefante. I say that because, for all intents and purposes, this is essentially a John Elefante solo project. I like the solo work that John Elefante has delivered in the Christian music scene, so I have no problem with this album. However, I will stress that people looking for that "classic Kansas sound" that we all know and love (e.g., "Song for America", "Leftoverture", "Point of Know Return", "Monolith", "Audio Visions", and "Vinyl Confessions"), may want to pass on this album."
"is your day just a reflection of the day before?"
mwreview | Northern California, USA | 07/25/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A lot of Kansas fans were turned off after Kansas began changing their sound when the 1980s rolled in. More lost interest after John Elefante took over the vocals and much of the songwriting after Steve Walsh left the band (to me, Elefante sounds so much like Walsh, I did not even realize it was a different vocalist at first). Sure, Kansas did not sound like the progressive giants of the 1970s with their 10-minute anthems. Their music in the 1980s was more radio-friendly (i.e. "Play the Game Tonight"). Still, I think this era of Kansas (although different) is excellent in it own right and I think some of their best material is found on the albums Audio-Visions through Steve Walsh's comeback Power. Fans who passed on Drastic Measures missed out on some killer tracks.
"Fight Fire With Fire" is the only song off this album that I find on Kansas Greatest Hits compilations. I like it very much, especially the keyboard opening and Elefante's vocals. It is not the best track on this album, however. The best is definitely "Going Through the Motions." I would put this track on any Kansas compilation. It is amazing! The vocals, keyboards, and drums all kick butt, especially at the chorus! When I first heard it, I was blown away! I think even fans of early Kansas will find something to like on that track; the haunting, yet powerful keyboard opening perhaps. Another track that really rocks is "Mainstream" (penned by Kerry Livgren). "Andi" has a sweet charm about it. It is about a young girl who wants to be a lady but hasn't quite blossomed into womanhood yet (either that, or a transexual woman trapped in a boy's body, but that is just my second guess). It is a nice ballad either way. "Get Rich" is very catchy, especially the piano and vocals during the verses. "Everybody' My Friend" is OK, not spectacular. The only tracks I don't care for are "Incident on a Bridge" and the cheesy "Don't Take your Love Away" (written by Livgren and the Elefantes respectively). They both have a gospel sound to them that I do not care for. If you are interested in giving this album a try, I highly recommend it. "Going Through the Motions" alone is worth the price!"
For diehard fans only
mwreview | 05/21/1999
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Slapped together while the band was breaking up, DRASTIC MEASURES pretty much deserves the scorn it gets from Kansas fans and the utter lack of attention from everyone else. John Elefante has said that the album was pretty much an Elefante Brothers album with the Kansas name on it, as they were the only ones working on it full time, and for the most part it really doesn't fit in with the classic Kansas sound.Having said all that, there's no doubt that the album's hit single "Fight Fire With Fire" deserves its place on THE BEST OF KANSAS, although it seems oddly out of place here, and the band performs this song to this day in their live shows. I've given DRASTIC MEASURES a number of chances but still find almost all of it very forgettable with the exception of "Andi," a terrific John Elefante pop song that suffers only from not sounding anything like Kansas (except for Rich Williams' power chords).Recommended only for Kansas fanatics and the musically curious."
Early Elefante rocks...
Matt Willimas | Virginia, United States | 07/06/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, Kansas fans might wanna skin me alive...oh well. I only knew of Kansas because I heard John Elefante (I knew of him through Mastedon, Petra) had sung with these guys. After thoroughly enjoying the Mastedon albums the Elefante bros. did I wanted more. Sooooo I decided to check out his work with Kansas.
I will admit this...I had to listen to Drastic Measures quite a few times before I liked it fully. Of course 'Fight Fire With Fire' hit off with me immediately, why not, its an excellent rocker. 'Mainstream' and 'Going Through The Motions' are excellent pieces as well, catchy, driving, even a teensy bit moody/haunting. 'Get Rich' is okay, if stuck in my head it will drive me insane. Okay, there's some cheesier pieces too...'Everybody's My Friend' took a little while to warm up to, if any track sounds dated on here its that one. 'Don't Take Your Love Away' also threw me a few times, it sounded horribly contrived. However, with frequent listens I grew to appreciate both tracks much more.
I hated 'Andi' at first and skipped it every time...to hear John Elefante singing about a tomboy who hasn't matured to womanhood just struck me as, well, weird (not that I'm making fun of the subject matter tho). After finally making myself play it, I grew to realize its not that bad. Hmmm, then there's the tracks 'End Of The Age' and 'Incident On The Bridge'...they sound relatively different to the rest of the album, less of an AOR sound and more...? I can't come up with the right word. These too had to cycle a couple of spins before I came to like them. (I went through all these tracks in my own order, not as they appear on DM.)
I will admit, Elefante is still a tad green here, yes. But you can hear little tidbits of the sound on the Mastedon albums that would come less than a decade later.
To sum it all up, Drastic Measures may have gotten a tad overplayed when I got it, I wouldn't rank it as an all-time favorite. However, I think its one of the best AOR/rock albums I've ever heard. The fact that I admire John Elefante not only for his vocal work but song-writing talents plays a big part. I guess like another viewer said, your liking of him is dependent on whether you'll like Drastic Measures or not. But seeing how I DO, it was a no brainer I'd be all over this one. That's why the Kansas fans will want to skin me...I like the one album they all seem to despise and have little or no familiarity with their more progressive work before DM.
Oh well, I said all that to say this...Drastic Measures is an excellent AOR rock album. Highly recommended."
A great intelligent pop-rock album.
ralph williams | Bradford, UK | 07/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've always felt that Drastic Measures was for Kansas what 90125 was for Yes, an album of great songs but very different from the sound established by earlier recordings. Most noticable is the lack of violin, which is a shame, and the higher percentage of pop/rock melodic tracks. Compared with earlier Kansas albums Drastic Measures is less experimental and progressive; compared to AOR/rock albums of the time the album is a breath of fresh air. Looking at the Kansas back-catalogue from 2004 this album seems to me less of an "odd one out" that some of the reviews here suggest, rather a stepping stone to "Power", "In the Spirit" and "Freaks". The current line-up of Kansas still perform "Fight fire with Fire" but I would love to see them do some of the other songs: the lyrics of Mainstream are more true today than ever and some would be transfored with the violin (but then also I would love to see Kansas tour the UK). Finally, I think some of the reviewers have missed the humour in the cover and some of the lyrics (like "Everybody's My Friend" and "Mainstream").A great album that you can play from end-to-end."