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Kaleidoscope - Faintly Blowing CD (album) cover





3.10 | 36 ratings

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5 stars I can't believe anyone would give this a rating less than mercurial! Here I am to set it right and set the record straight. Faintly Blowing is a landmark album not just in psychedelic music, but in that genre as it turned into progresssive rock. Kaleidoscope, with their multi-hued sound and sophisticated lyrics, were as much a unique art rock band as they were a Mod psychedelic band. For instance "Faintly Blowing," "Love Song For Annie," "Snapdragon," and "Music" are chock fulll of mind altering time changes, mood changes, and some brilliant imagery from the pen of Peter Daltrey and sparkling illumination from the music writer/ guitarist Eddie Pumer. This album does not have one unworthy track on it, but one of its most significant qualities is this was one of The First Progressive Albums! The lyrics are extremely literate and full of not just English, but also European history and myth. One might call them Shakespearean, but never pretentious. I can hear in this album what we all would soon be hearing from Crimson, Genesis, Fantasy, Czar, and the like. In fact, Czar and Kaleidoscope shared the same record company. The lyrics often deal with pro soldier/anti war subject matter, just listen to "Bless The Executioner" for a moving message song- short and very, very touching. The music is based around layering of guitars, voices, mellotron, and sound effects, all of this turning into a long phased out mindblower "Music." Daltrey agrees this is better than "Tangerine Dream," and that is a fact. Tangerine Dream was a playful psychedelic pop album, good but not a masterpiece, this one moved way further. No collection is complete without at least a reissue of "Faintly Blowing" and that is all I have. Original copies are unaffordable like so much music of this time frame, but unlike so much music of this time period there is no "period piece" quality here. 'Black Fjord" still sounds ahead of the game to me as does the whole album. Remember that Yes had yet to materialize, Crimson were just getting off the ground, ELP hadn't formed from the ashes of The Nice yet, so what I am getting at is Kaleidoscope were the first. And that shouldn't detract from their Fairfield Parlour album either, another full blown masterpiece. Kaleidoscope played and sung from the heart, they put a lot of emotion into this record, and to give it a rating less than a masterpiece would be degrading. As I have said, the melodic prog and the space rock we know and love couldn't have happened without early Floyd, Kaleidoscope, July, and the first wave of psychedelic/art rock/progressive bands. While "T. Dream" was made up of short concise songs, this album is made up of startlingly innovative 3 to 4 to longer tracks and a few interludes of poetry. Medieaval imagery and influences that we'd hear in all our favourite progressive music appear on this album, bright and as evocative as they were then. Just listen, me lads, listen and be blessed....
| 5/5 |


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