Purple Pyramid 2017
Severing the line, respectable singer unleashes a soul cyclone on the listener.
While the title of Bobby Kimball’s third solo outing may signal his moving away from a TOTO playground (and have the uninitiated checking the reality of the veteran’s non-belonging to a KANSAS camp), it’s stylistic shift that’s this record’s main feature. Discarding Kimball’s erstwhile prog and hard rock leanings and tying together contemporary traces of Philly sound, “We’re Not In Kansas Anymore” could have sounded like a perfect album for the late ‘80s if not for Bobby’s sincere embracement of the classic formula. More so, there’s a lot of subtle self-irony to keep it all on the right side of emotional tornado, from “Too Far Behind” – one a few perky, if romantic, duets on offer – on to where “You’re Not Alone” signs off softly to leave a lasting aftertaste.
The brass-smeared, boisterously funky “On My Feet” defying belief that Kimball’s a septuagenarian now, the defiance factor of these songs comes from such cheerfulness as well as from his voice: shatteringly strong and young, yet so supple in the orchestral uplift of “Met Her For” or “One Day” whose guitars weave a country spell around vocals. Heavy in “Hey It’s Me” and velvet-like in its piano-propelled companion piece “You’ll Be With Me” which is a link to the album’s finale, Bobby’s approach here is gracious but groovy throughout, and “Some They Do” may sum the singer’s current stance nicely – although there’s more to his jive than can be gathered within a single spin of the record; there’s joy in his flying out of the title state and into the magical land.