CD Review: The After Party, Kansas

The After Party's Kansas is irresistible fun, a perfect blend of pop with a punk edge. You can't help but sing along with more than a few clever lines. It kicks things off straightaway with the handclap rhythm of "Waste The Day", whose jazzy breakdown at the end makes it a great party jam. "A Better Me" is cheerfully derisive in the tradition of Cee Lo Green's "Fuck You," declaring "our love was fiction and baby that's a fact." It's a breakup song for the dance floor, while the addictive beat of "She's Gotta Boyfriend" was made to be blasted out over a huge crowd jumping up and down.

Kansas turns quiet with the ballad "Still Got Love," which is genuine without being overwrought. The standout is "Here Comes The Rain," combining heartfelt lyrics and a beautiful guitar solo: "Broke the news that crushed my earth and buried me in it, walked out, left me digging." The image resonates long after the song is done.

Things pick up again with the closer "Unforgettable Nights." It's exactly the kind of wistful tune to wander into the night still singing. The After Party are ready for the big stage, and Kansas should take them there.

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