Reviews

Kaleidoscope.Kaleidoscope
Album: Tangerine Dream
Label: Talking Elephant
Tracks: 11
Website: http://www.talkingelephant.co.uk

The cover pic says it all, I guess. Quintessentially trippy British pop-psych, vintage late-'67. This West London band (not to be confused with the US outfit of the same name who were mixing country and jugband with exotic world influences) were for a short time right inside the Zeitgeist, albeit arguably just a touch too late to exert any influence.

After releasing two albums and a couple of singles, they kinda went all-prog and changed their name to Fairfield Parlour… Anyway, Kaleidoscope's music as evidenced on Tangerine Dream (consisting exclusively of original songs by vocalist/keyboardist Peter Daltrey) was a well-intentioned hybrid of The Who, early Pink Floyd, early Move, Moody Blues and Pretty Things, with a little Byrdsy jangle and a smattering of sunshine pop thrown in - the difference being that Kaleidoscope's music was less groundbreaking and more time-locked (in the psych-lite sense), even a touch dated by the time it appeared in the racks.

Copious doses of social whimsy and trendy idealism on comforting vignettes like Mr. Small The Watch Repairer Man and Dear Nellie Goodrich, rubbing shoulders with dreamy "eight miles high" flower-power (eight-minute finale The Sky Children), and the Floydian (if not as spacey) Flight From Ashiya and Dive Into Yesterday. And then there's tracks like (Further Reflections) In The Room Of Percussion whose cryptic titles sound more interesting than the music turns out - although this one has something of a 1st-album-Caravan vibe - whereas there's some Moon-style skin-bashing livening up a couple of tracks. Don't get me wrong - the album's a good listen and a worthwhile investment, but you mustn't expect too much, just take it as it comes and treat it as an artefact of its time.

It's good to see the album (the first of two released by the band) available again, but I'd like to have had here also the half-dozen bonus tracks that adorned the 2005 Repertoire-label CD reissue, since they contained some choice non-album singles including Jenny Artichoke. And it would have been so nice to have a little biographical detail to supplement the reproduced original sleeve note; but hey, I can't disagree with Peter's invitation to "please listen to the pictures".

David Kidman