Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Chills - Kaleidoscope World (1986)

It’s hard to not be hyperbolic when talking about The Chills. In my mind, they’re a superior pop band than the Beatles, and Kaleidoscope World is one of the best compilation albums ever put out. But then again I have to confess that I’m avid Beatles hater, so maybe I’m a little biased. Heavenly Pop Hits is another great (and aptly titled) compilation of theirs, but I think Kaleidoscope World has a bit more range and personality. From hearty pop to punk, from vivid, sunny choruses (“Kaleidoscope World,” “Doledrums,” “I Love My Leather Jacket”) to darker, more stygian sounds (“Whole Weird World,” “Dream by Dream,” “The Great Escape”), this collection of early singles captures the subtly of Martin Phillips’ and crew’s diverse and unique ferocity. Sometimes lead by jangly guitar playing, other times with organ melodies at their songwriting forefront. The album goes all over, but you always get the feeling that you’re listening distinctly to the Chills mainly because of Phillips’ subdued vocals, engaging lyrics, and catchy arrangements. If you’re new to The Chills, or if you’re only slightly familiar, this compilation is a must have for all; highly recommended stuff.

Rating: 9.5/10


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