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Kaleidoscope - Faintly Blowing CD (album) cover





3.10 | 36 ratings

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5 stars Magic Zoo and Electric Midnight Mist

Faintly Blowing, the second full-length LP from Kaleidoscope, released in 1969, is arguably the finest LP from the British Psychedelic era. Pussy, Pussy Plays and The Open Mind's self-titled LPs are classics, but not as transcendent as this release. One could say it's on par with the equally amazing Odessey and Oracle by The Zombies, no easy task.

There are many reasons for this, should one try to pinpoint just why this record is so good. The opener "Faintly Blowing" should have been a hit, catchy, psychedelic, powerful. Same with the majestic, poppy "Black Fjord". "Snapdragon", "Story From Tom Blitz", "Feathered Tiger" are all just as good as well, there's not a weak track on the LP. "(Love Song) For Annie" has an addicting heavy pounding guitar bombast, that at first seems very un-love- song-like, that is then is repeatedly offset against the acoustic guitar interludes that invest a quiet sincerity to the ode. The end of the song is almost post-punk rythmically. "If You So Wish" has a Beatle-esque melodic quality with the orchestration of the era's pop groups. A solemn, introspective and quiet number, "Bless The Executioner" is a song waiting to be covered by some hipster, indie-folk-rocker.

All throughout, Peter Daltrey's vocals are perfect for the ethereal, storybook fantasy feeling that pervades the songs. The instrumentation is clear and precise, not overwhelmingly psychedelic initially perhaps, as acoustic guitars are present through much of the LP, but just when you think it may stay within a traditional 60s pop format, it opens up into something much wilder ("Music"). Awash with overdrive and phase, ambient ringing clear guitar notes, crashing chords? the album is a milestone for the band, they unfortunately didn't have the financial success to keep it going. The cover art I might add, is an astounding and strange piece of British rock mastery. A third excellent album as Fairfield Parlour was issued, From Home To Home, and a fourth double LP, White Faced Lady, that was unreleased initially, then finally made it out in the 90s. They mastered a musical body of work that is romantic, fantastical, and adventurous? and that's a damn good thing.

Of the highest recommendation to fans of British Psychedelia. Their performance at the 2013 Austin Psych Fest was one of the highlights of the weekend.

SpecialKindOfHell | 5/5 |


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