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4.6 out of 5 stars19
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 5 November 2000
This was the band's most creative moment. Drawing inspiration from the music of Burt Bacharach, Jimmy Webb and Laura Nyro, and armed with a batch of terrific original compositions, they produced a very wonderful LP indeed. Paul O'Duffy, their producer, deserves special praise for his truely panoramic mixes as does the work of the string and brass arrangers (including Richard Niles and Jimmy Webb himself). Do you get the feeling I like this LP? Well I love Bacharach's and Webb's work, and this LP is a great tribute. Buy it.
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Let me tell you a little story. In the mid 80s. I was a mod. You know; the scooter, the parka and all that. I used to basically buy any record that even remotely reminded me of my favourite 60s heroes, such as Webb, Legrand, Andy Williams, Bacharach, etc. This included "style" over substance on some occasions. One of the criteria I used was a bob, as in the haircut. I used to love Makin' Time with the gorgeous Faye and one day saw this record sleeve which featured a beautiful woman with the most fantastic bob I'd ever seen. The record was "Blue Mood" and the band was Swing Out Sister. So started a 25 year plus love affair with one of the most underrated of British bands.

I loved Breakout, Twilight World and the first album, of course, but I thought the band really came into their own with the release of Kaleidoscope World in 1989. While the album is unmistakable SoS, it is also liberally drenched in the 60s world of Burt Bacharach, Michel Legrand and Jimmy Webb.

There are three really cracking singles on here, the wonderful You On My Mind, Where In The World and Forever Blue. Each, particularly the first two, really wear their heart on their sleeves and the 60s influence really comes to the fore. I remember the videos of Corinne and Andy cavorting in the streets of Paris, wishing I was there. There was another single released outside the UK, Waiting Game, a great uptempo track which would have been a better bet than Forever Blue, I reckon.

This album isn't just about the singles though, there are plenty of other tracks to excite such as Heart For Hire and Tainted.

The highlights for me though are Precious Words, a Burt sound-a-like if ever I heard one and the excellent title track The Kaleidoscope Affair, a classy instrumental reminiscent of late 60s soundtracks such as the Thomas Crown Affair. I could easily imagine this playing over the title credits of some European thriller. Brilliant.

I've kept up with their releases, which isn't easy as most of it seems to come out only in Japan, and despite the odd album - Shapes and Patterns particularly - I don't think they've ever come close to recreating an album as special as this. It's a shame that people only really seem to associate Swing Out Sister with Breakout. There's a lot more to them than that, as this album so clearly proves.

Where in the world would we be without music like this and artists like Andy and Corinne?
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VINE VOICEon 26 December 2007
'Swing Out Sister' was to me always a classy band with a 'classy' sound.

Not many bands could have topped a debut number one album, but 'Swing Out Sister' seemed to have no problem doing this at all when they released this, their second album: 'Kaleidoscope World'! This was a great work with ten great tracks - coupled with the stunning artwork for the sleeve design.

Their biggest hit from this (but incredibly only peaking at number 28) should have been their first chart topper - 'You On My Mind'. This is a sensational song which I played to death at the time, in the warm summer of '89. A rare and unique sound produced by this band that is hard to match.

Great stuff!
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on 31 December 2008
Can't deny it - have been and will always be a big fan of SOS. Saw them live at the Jazz Cafe a couple of years ago and loved every second of it! This is a stunning albumn; if in this grey coloured world 'Waiting Game' does not give you a massive lift then its time to end it all my friend! Corrine sounds stunning and the arrangements and production brilliant - you will not regret adding this to your SOS collection.
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on 10 June 2011
The retro 60s sound done to perfection but not so slavishly that it does not forge an identity of its own. Andy Connell and Corinne Drewery make a wonderful sound. If they were starting out now, or in the past year or two, they certainly would have fitted right in with the current batch of women who have a strong chart presence. To some ears this may sound a little middle of the road but there is real quality and passion here. They also would have fitted into an Austen Power movie very neatly, and I mean that as a good thing.
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on 26 March 2010
Corrine's voice tones beautifully with exceptional musical artistry featured extensively throughout this amazing collection of ten great songs which include melodic instrumentals. Swing Out Sister finding themselves popular in the Japanese musical market are best known for their debut album "It's better to travel" featuring their best known song "Breakout" but this collection of songs is to my mind far superior and well worth adding to any serious musical collectors collection.
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on 29 July 2009
I had this album on cassette, played it until it snapped. Corinne has a lovely voice; deep melodic yet feminine and heartachey. This album reminds me of the kind of groove set around the original (and best)Steve McQueen version of The Thomas Crown affair.

Great album for chilling on a Sunday, driving to work in the rush hour or setting yourself up for a good night out after a hard week's grind. Enjoy...
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on 15 May 2014
Sometimes you don't want to listen to Led Zeppelin, or Pink Floyd, or Interpol or Arcade Fire, all favourites of mine. Sometimes you just need something without neuroses or angst. Just something pure and gorgeous. And Kaleidoscope is all that and it swings and grooves too. Just sublime.
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on 21 February 2014
Hard to find a Swingout Sister album without too many tracks duplicated on other albums. This album is pretty good, with lots of smooth sounding songs in her usual style. Not my favourite Swingout Sister album, but goes close.
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on 25 May 2015
Beautiful Swing Out Sister sound. Music to chill out to. Mixes of mellow jazz, beautiful instrumental introductions. A very unique sound. Pure genius. Great supplier, speedy delivery and well packaged.
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