Top positive review
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Safe and familiar
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.