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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Acoustic album that packs an almighty punch..., 20 Dec. 2010
This review is from: Acoustic Sessions (Audio CD)
From the Wedding Present to the Verve to Spiritualized to Bloc Party, some of the biggest names in rock history have been inspired by the Chameleons or included Chameleons fans in their line-ups, while the band themselves were prevented by twists of fate or plan bad luck from ever becoming a household name.

Forming in Middleton, near Manchester in 1981 and splitting in 1987, the band made three albums in their lifetime which have all since been acclaimed as classics: Script Of The Bridge (1983), What Does Anything Mean Basically (1985 ) and Strange Times (1986). Although all were very different, each showcased variations on the quartet's trademark sound: a raging affair of hypnotic, entwined guitars, pattering drums and singer Mark Burgess's explosive passion. But what if that sound could heard in an altogether different light?

Chameleons Acoustic brings together two albums that resulted from their unexpected 2000 reunion and have been out of print for years - 2000's Strip and 2002's This Never Ending Now, which saw the foursome revisit and in most cases entirely remodel their own sound. Out go 1980s production gloss and effects pedals in favour of acoustic guitars and very minimal or no percussion, resulting in a stripped down, gentler affair which reveals the true, reflective beauty in the songs.

No longer surrounded by walls of guitars and noise, Burgess's distinctive vocals emerge as delicate, heartfelt poetry, with the added resonance of nostalgia and perhaps regret. "I used to be so sure, I used to be so certain..." he sings, perhaps simultaneously mourning for youth, absent friends and a future that, ultimately, never arrived. Although "acoustic", in some cases the songs sound as powerful and possibly even more intense than the originals.
Heard here in reverse chronological order, the songs originally revisited for This Never Ending Now range from rarer songs like The Fan And The Bellows to a playful romp through David Bowie's Moonage Daydream. But the band's own classics hit home hardest, as the likes of Second Skin and Swamp Thing are transformed from rock anthems into stunning, timeless folk songs of insight and beauty.

With drummer John Lever unavailable at the time, the Strip songs are even more minimal and crystalline, focussing on the sublime melody of Dave Fielding and Reg Smithies' interlocking acoustic guitars. Highlights include a shimmering Soul In Isolation and versions of Paradiso and Caution respectively steeped in poignancy and nostalgia and dread and walking, drug-dependent ghosts. With Road To San Remo and Indian unrecorded elsewhere and the extra bonus of four unreleased tracks recorded live at Seattle radio station KEXP, this is the Chameleons unplugged as you may have never heard them before or - for the newcomer to the band - an intriguing place to start.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic session, 10 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Acoustic Sessions (Audio CD)
exellent item one of favourite bands timeless music for timeless people no rush in music just time to listen
the colours in it .brilliant .
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Acoustic Sessions
Acoustic Sessions by Chameleons (Audio CD - 2010)
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