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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Collide-of-hopes!
Transatlantic! What a band! This is album number four and I remember clearly getting really excited back in the year 2000 when SMPTe was in the pipeline. The article was in 'Classic Rock' magazine and I suddenly realised these four differing and similar personalities could create something unbelievable. SMPTe is still my favourite album because it is so musical and...
Published 5 months ago by B. Robertson

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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Problem...
Look, it was always going to be an impossible task following the sheer brilliance of The Whirlwind, an album I consider to be in my all time top 10. Maybe if they had tried some different ideas the outcome would have been better. But to go down the well trodden path with material that isn`t up to it just wasn`t going to work. Consequently Kaleidoscope fares very badly in...
Published 6 months ago by Graham P. Miller


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Collide-of-hopes!, 28 Feb 2014
By 
B. Robertson (Bromley, London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kaleidoscope (Audio CD)
Transatlantic! What a band! This is album number four and I remember clearly getting really excited back in the year 2000 when SMPTe was in the pipeline. The article was in 'Classic Rock' magazine and I suddenly realised these four differing and similar personalities could create something unbelievable. SMPTe is still my favourite album because it is so musical and melodic. This is always the album that I recommend as the 'future of prog'.The four individual band CDs at this time were 'Snow', 'Space Revolver', 'Scenes from a Memory and 'Marillion.com'. Then SMPTe dropped on to the progressive landscape like confetti at a wedding. Album number two, Bridge across Forever, did not live up to the majesty of the first album although it is still a pretty decent record. 'The Whirlwind' was brilliant but overlong! Watching them at 'High Voltage' perform the whole thing was magnificent but you just wanted them to play something from the first two albums. A mere four year wait and we get Kaleidoscope and it is another collision of four musical hopes!

Kaleidoscope has two typical Transatlantic epics that bookend the CD and three that mix things up in the middle. The middle three do add a lot of colour and diversity to the whole kaleidoscopic pattern. It's seeing the five tracks arranged so carefully that you realise why Kaleidoscope is called Kaleidoscope. I love 'Shine', track two which is a typical Morsey type guitar motif with lovely instrumentation. 'Black as the Sky' reminds me of the Spocks Beard song 'Crack the Big Sky'; it is keyboard based and is by far the weakest track on view. Beyond the sun is dreamy, atmospheric and beautiful.

'Into the Blue' and 'Kaleidoscope' are the two 30 minute epics that do sit along place the other epics in the Transatlantic canon. Both tracks have typical Morse passages with wonderful off-beat Portnoy drumming. Stolt is a dream on 'Kaleidoscope' on the 7 minute mark.

CD2 has 8 cover versions. All of them mirror the originals, there is no Transatlantic excess here so if you know 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road' by Elton then you will know the Trans version. I do love the bonus disc though because it shows us exactly who the influences are. Best track here is 'Sylvia' which is fab.

Negatives, there has to be negatives! Some of the singing is really not up to scratch. Five voices are singing throughout the 2 CDs. Neal Morse has a wonderfully warm and instantly recognisable voice that has evolved over decades of serious vocal scenarios. He has played every musical genre and I have watched his career slowly transend to its current position. Daniel Gildenlow can sing too but he is out of place amongst the four Transatlantic albums. Roine Stolt and his singing has been part of my life for such a long time that I have got used to his shortcomings. Portnoy and Trewavas cannot sing but they get far too much microphone time, Trewavas sings a long passage in the middle of the title track! Why?? Why not stick with Morse? Do we really need 5 vocalists when surely one would do? Spocks Beard had wonderful harmonies and I think Morse is trying to recreate this here but it just doesnt work. When Yes went on tour they did not have five singers!

Kaleidoscope is a 5 star album with a star knocked off for the singing arrangements.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic prog rock, 31 Jan 2014
This review is from: Kaleidoscope [VINYL] (Vinyl)
I agree with other reviewers that this is exactly what we've come to expect from Transatlantic. That said Kaleidoscope is excellent. On the main album there isn't a duff track. The musicianship is first rate. Into The Blue has some classic 70's synth sounds and reminds me of Yes at their peak. The ballad Shine is gorgeous and ends too soon. The title track is an epic 33 minutes long and not a moment is wasted. If you like prog rock you'll love this.
The bonus disk is very good indeed. The covers of And You And I and Conquistador stand out and their workout on King Crimson's Indiscipline shows a band that's willing to take risks.
The vinyl package which is a triple LP set which also includes the both the CD and the bonus CD is good value, especially when you consider that the average price for a double LP these days is around 25 without an included CD. You still can't beat a gatefold LP sleeve and this one comes inside a slipcase with the bonus LP in its own sleeve. I also got a nice 3D postcard of the cover art thrown in too. Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous album by Fabulous band, 14 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Kaleidoscope (Audio CD)
A completely fantastic album by some of Prog's most accomplished musicians.
matched with a superb hardback book full of inspiring artwork

The disc of covers includes some of the best cover versions I've heard
I'd recommend this album to anyone who thought Prog was dead or any music fan who ever thought about dipping their toe into the ocean of Prog music
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Prog rock fom 4 talented artists, 1 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Kaleidoscope (Audio CD)
If you like your prog rock, you will love his. Every track has been carefully made to give the full potential of classic prog rock. Cant wait to see this being performed live or a DVD of the concert.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!, 14 Feb 2014
By 
P. Wilkes "PhilW" (Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kaleidoscope (Audio CD)
If you have the other Transatlantic albums then you'll know what to expect - chock full of superb playing, melodic themes, intricate prog sections and multi-part epics. While not really breaking new ground, this is top quality music from a top quality band. Some great cover versions on the bonus disk too. Love it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best yet from TA, 13 Feb 2014
By 
Steven Smith "24beforemylove" (Harrogate, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kaleidoscope (Audio CD)
I've now had some time with this album. It has all the usual TA ingredients: structured symphonic style epics, soaring melodies, superb singalong moments and top playing from all. This time I note in particular the tasteful synth playing, especially the use of mini moog and Hammond. There are no significant weak moments. I prefer the structure of this album to The Whirlwind. I find TA are best at 20-30 minute pieces with recurring themes and moods.

The influence of Neal Morse is strongest, but I always enjoy Roine Stolt's vocals and Portnoy's busy drums. The latter's familiar fills are there along with some more unusual moments.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 'shining' example of symphonic prog!!!, 10 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Kaleidoscope (Audio CD)
Ambitious as ever, impressive as hoped, memorable as wished for and as much fun as possible, Transatlantic prove once more that some supergroups really can be even greater than the sum of their parts – and in this case, that's really saying something.
As far as I’m concerned it’s another winner from the guys that call themselves Transatlantic. It's actually kind of nice that the band have managed to keep this thing going, not overstaying their welcome, but popping up every few years and dropping some wonderful, epic symphonic prog in our laps. Let's hope they keep it going for years and years to come.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Safe and familiar, 31 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Kaleidoscope (Audio CD)
Kaleidoscope is the 4th studio album from Prog super-group Transatlantic.
The first disc contains 5 new tracks while a bonus disc offers covers of other 'prog' and rock classic.
First off the quality of musicianship and production is uniformly excellent (and should be no surprise to anyone familiar with the players).

The album opens with the lengthy "Into the Blue". and closes with the even more lengthy "Kaleidoscope".
In the middle there are three shorter tracks (two of which "Shine" and "Beyond the Sun" are ballads)

Overall, I do like this album but it lacks something. Everyone is playing well within their comfort zone here and the songs are all pretty 'safe'. It would be unkind to describe the album as derivative, but it certainly doesn't plough any new furrows and for the most part lacks edge

The best song on the album is Black is The Sky - which romps along at a fair pace while still delivering enough keyboard, bass, guitar and drum virtuosity to satisfy.
The two ballads are also pretty decent .
It's the longer songs that somehow disappoint.
If for no other reason than they feel long - and Into the Blue seems like more a meander through collection of fragments than a coherent piece with a theme or direction.

All that said, Portnoy, Trewavas, Morse and Stolt are so obviously at ease playing together and such capable musicians in their own rights that even if this album isn't their best it is still well worth a listen.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fabulous Kaleidoscope of colour, 31 Jan 2014
This review is from: Kaleidoscope (Audio CD)
The cd starts with a big epic of 25 minutes "Into the Blue" that contains all the trademarks of the band with a big symphonic sound, some nice vocals, a solid rhythm section, plenty of keyboards parts and some nice guitars soloing. The music goes from a fast tempo to some slower passages were Neal Morse brings the music to a high emotional level. Then the Flower Kings influence is still there with many instrumental breaks, a crescendo building and reaching a emotional peak. While this is not credited, Daniel Gildenlow brings his contributions in the vocal department like every musicians, and we are treated with a nice flute passage that gives a different mood to the music.

"Shine" is a ballad that put Neal Morse voice and the guitar of Roine Stolt in the spot. "Black As the Sky" show Stolt singing and some spectacular bass/drums/keyboards parts that is very original for the band usual style. This will probably be one of the best short songs in their career. "Beyond the Sun" is a nice short song with Neal singing and some beautiful Steve Howe kind of guitar parts from Roine. And then comes the 31 minutes epic that gets a heavier sound and many tempo changes going from slower passages and many moods and styles, some Pink Floyd vibe and some keyboards parts that sound like some jazz stuff of Chick Corea. The vocals parts of Neal at times gets the pop rock style of the 80's. This song has some darker moods, but it's always tempered with some light passages. The final section of the song brings again some unusual style of music from the band with some tasty keyboards parts.

This is another winner for Transatlantic, the songwriting, the musicianship and the production are top notch. All this with a special second cd of covers with a beautiful version of "And You And I" and a interesting choice of songs like "Indiscipline" (King Crimson) and "Sylvia" (Focus).
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Problem..., 6 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Kaleidoscope (Audio CD)
Look, it was always going to be an impossible task following the sheer brilliance of The Whirlwind, an album I consider to be in my all time top 10. Maybe if they had tried some different ideas the outcome would have been better. But to go down the well trodden path with material that isn`t up to it just wasn`t going to work. Consequently Kaleidoscope fares very badly in comparison.

There are some very nice parts on the album, but not enough to outweigh the substandard majority so I am left with a feeling of extreme disappointment. Even the Morse ballad, Beyond The Sun, is a dirge. Bridge Across Forever, it ain`t. I found myself playing a game of "Heard this before" or "this sounds like" so many times. It really pains me to say these negative things, as I consider Neal Morse to be one of the best songwriters around.

So are the reviewers giving this album 5 stars really saying this is as good as the Whirlwind? Really? Oh, and one more thing. Please don`t let Pete Trewavas sing again. Ever.
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Kaleidoscope
Kaleidoscope by Transatlantic (Audio CD - 2014)
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