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Kaleidoscope - Tangerine Dream CD (album) cover





3.18 | 48 ratings

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3 stars A very, very, very twee album of quintessentially psychedelic pop-rock, Kaleidoscope's debut album is an enjoyably lightweight slice of English whimsy that was released slap bang in the middle of the late 1960's psychedelic revolution. Similar to the likes of Yes guitarist Steve Howe's former band Tomorrow and the earlier material of both The Move and The Small Faces, 'Tangerine Dream'(an album name coined a little earlier than the more famous German electronic pioneers) is very much an album of it's time. Psychedelic music was, albeit briefly, the popular new fad towards the end of the 1960's but was quickly overtaken by the beginning of the 1970's by both prog and various, more muscular forms of rock music. Indeed, by the time Yes, Genesis, King Crimson et al had got around to unleashing their innovative early-seventies output, Kaleidoscope's brand of fluffy psychedelia already seemed dated, and not even a name-change(to Fairfield Parlour) could help them escape their roots. However, despite a sadly-truncated career, Kaleidoscope are fondly remembered by conoisseurs of psychedelic pop - or popsike as some call it today - and 'Tangerine Dream' showcased a talented group who managed to combine catchy pop choruses with genuinely psychedelic effects, such as Eastern-tinged modalities, sitar-esque guitars and multi-layered vocal harmonies that gives the material a vibrant edge lacking in many other so-called psychedelic bands from the era. The stand-out tracks include 'Flight From Ashiya', which features some marijuane-soaked guitar tones and was issued as a single(albeit fairly unsuccessfully), and the album's lengthy, eight-minute-plus closer 'The Sky Children', which again features some beautifully- constructed guitar-led choruses(courtesy of lead-guitarist and the group's main composer Eddy Pumer) and a rousing multi-instrument finale. The in-between material is sometimes a bit too simplistic, relying as it does on the boyish vocals of lead-singer Peter Daltrey, but for those interested in the lighter side of psychedelia there is much to cherish. 'Tangerine Dream' does sound very dated, and when compared to the classic American band's of the era - the likes of Jefferson Airplane, The Doors and The Grateful Dead - it seems very lightweight. However, multiple listens reveal a confident band at work whose style has often been aped but rarely - for this genre of music at least - bettered. The actual prog elements are few and far between, but it doesn't stop 'Tangerine Dream' from being a slightly-guilty pleasure from a time far, far away when this kind of thing really did seem new and groundbreaking. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
stefro | 3/5 |


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