Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Review: Kaleidoscope "Tangerine Dream" [1967]

Essentially, this 1967 record from Kaleidoscope combines psychedelic-pop whimsy with early Procol Harum-lyrics, Zombies-harmonies and a touch of Procol Harum. In fact the high points of the record rank right up there with Odyssey and Oracle and any other record of the period. I would not go as far as saying this is a legendary album, but it is amazing at points and maintains a high quality of music throughout, interesting no matter how many times one may listen to it.

On the whole the lyrics on Tangerine Dream are either haunting or nonsense. What keeps them from venturing into the "trite" category is lead singer Peter Daltrey's delivery. He whispers, to great effect, at least parts of each song. Add to that the reverb drenching every syllable and you have something beautiful and relaxing and psychedelic. No matter that he sings on "Please Excuse My Face"
Blushing, smiling through the tears
Please excuse my face/ I feel dead
I'll hide myself away.
This could easily turn rather pathetic quickly. However, the beauty of the acoustic-driven song and the earnest voice of Daltery allows it to come off pleasant, if a sad song can be so (and they can be).

Other very good tracks include "Dive into Yesterday" and "(Further Reflections) in the Room of Percussion," both of which feature time signature changes and uber-psychedelic, "I Am the Walrus" lyrics. Take "Dive into Yesterday,"
Battalions in navy blue are bursting beige balloons
The water pistols are all filled with lemonade
The jester and the goldfish have joined minds above the moon
Oh, please kiss the flowers and you, too, will be safe
What does that mean? And does it matter if the answer is nothing really? The images, as incredible as they are, could be in another language. It would not matter because the overall effect of the music serves to take the listener to another place. And I believe that to be the main point of music in general and psychedelic music in particular.

But my favorite lyric on the whole album is uttered on the awesomely named "(Further Reflections) in the Room of Percussion." Sounding overwhelmed, which I think if one were to travel around in the world of this record would be perfectly understandable, the singer manages to half-sing
My God, the spiders are everywhere...
If you dig 60's psychedelia you will dig "Tangerine Dream," certainly. If not, you may enjoy some of the songs, but eventually become annoyed with some of the sillier songs. But I highly recommend a listen.


  1. Kaleidoscope
  2. Please Excuse My Face
  3. Dive into Yesterday
  4. Mr. Small, The Watch Repair Man
  5. Flight from Ashiya
  6. The Murder of Lewis Tollani
  7. (Further Reflections) in the Room of Percussion
  8. Dear Nellie Goodrich
  9. Holiday Maker
  10. A Lesson Perhaps
  11. The Sky Children
  12. A Dream for Julie [bonus]


1 comment:

  1. sky chlidren is the best one imo