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48
4.3 out of 5 stars
Kaleidoscope
Format: Audio CDChange
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 11 May 2014
I've had this for a few months and I think it's their best CD to date. All their works are genius but this one seems to raise things to another level. This despite the fact there are few surprises, as there were on the previous Whirlwind album. This is traditional Transatlantic, developing further the blueprint laid down with SMPTe. There are five distinct tracks, with only a couple of lines from the first track being reprised at the end of the second.

It is so positive and uplifting, I've never heard such a spiritual rock album. Neal Morse is a main contributor, and he manages to convey a feeling of optimism and hope without preaching to us, as he does on some of his solo albums. All four musicians are on top form, still at the top of their game.

The bonus covers CD is worth a listen, though it is only that. It depends partly I guess on whether we're familiar with the originals. I'm an ELO fan and love the cover of Can't Get It Out Of My Head.

The main CD is almost perfection in my mind, so much that it's pointless writing about slight disappointments. Make your own mind up, but do give it a try if you like uplifting rock music. Thanks guys.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 31 January 2014
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
on 13 February 2014
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
on 10 February 2014
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
on 31 January 2014
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
on 31 January 2014
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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on 4 March 2015
I'll buck the trend review wise here as I like Kaleidoscope but it's not my favourite Transatlantic album. I like all of their works but The Whirlwind is my favourite so far as it is that rare thing a concept album that delivers from beginning to the end and for over 70 minutes with the hair going up on the back of my neck in places. Most of us can see bits of Genesis, Floyd, Yes and the like in Transatlantic album's but Kaleidoscope seems to nod towards King Crimson in places, certainly the opening track "Into the Blue Does." I should say that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to fans of all things prog. Beyond the Sun is a slow moving ballad in a similar vein to "Bridge over Tomorrow" although not a catchy. Finally the thirty minute title track Kaleidoscope with its leanings to Jazz rock in the middle, oh I do so love Jazz rock. A brilliant opus with some great mood changes. It's a great album but I give it four stars perhaps a bit unfairly, if The Whirlwind had never existed it would be five. I would also add that if like me you don't have time to watch DVD's and only ever want the music this is a good buy as it's very expensive to buy the sets with a DVD disc that I am never going to use. Another thing that I will buck the trend with is my positivity towards the bonus CD. Its great to here some blasts from the past again and playing so accomplished here. If you remember the originals perhaps it will make you dust them off again. If you don't know them seek them out. ELO's "I can't Get it Out of My Head" from the Eldorado album, perhaps their finest and just before they really hit it big, much underrated. I find the bonus CD's just that a bonus and a lucky dip of memories. Enjoy both discs, they are both great.
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on 22 February 2014
This is a superb album. I deliberately had a few listens before reviewing it- as on hearing things a few times you get a more balanced view. When you listen to any music for the first time the only bearing you have is to relate it to things you've heard before. With this latest offering right from the off with the first track, 'Into the Blue', there is a real urgency and a sense that these guys have got something to say. They are certainly not just going through the motions as there is real inspiration that comes from the ensemble of 4 musicians at the top of their game.
'The Whirlwind' (their last album) was a hard act to follow but I feel they have succeeded and also this new album has a totally different feel to it. Obviously there are familiar Transatlantic trademarks, but that's the same with any band, and I feel there is some true originality and a wealth of fresh ideas here.
Moving on -'Black as the sky' and the mammoth title track 'Kaleidoscope' are great tracks (though the latter does contain some self indulgent "prog" moments, but why not when you do it this well and you don't take yourself too seriously-good on you!). If I am brutally honest the tracks 'Shine' and 'Beyond the Sun' are good, but not brilliant and Transatlantic would not have built their reputation on songs like these.
Anyway I feel that Kaleidoscope fulfils the anticipation placed on it and contains the magic sprinkles of musical fairy dust coming from musicians who really know what they are doing- well done!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 March 2014
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
on 14 February 2014
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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