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Kaleidoscope World

Swing Out Sister

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Album Review

After the, er, "Breakout" success of Swing Out Sister's initial releases, co-founder Martin Jackson took a back seat to the contributions of Andy Connell and vocalist Corinne Drewery. With legendary pop songwriter and producer Jimmy Webb providing arrangements, Kaleidoscope World is perhaps as pure a pop album as there could be in the two-dimensional plastic world of the late '80s. The record is chock full of lush, lively arrangements dominated by big, boisterous horns and Drewery's rich, Dusty Springfield-esque vocal. It's not surprising that Swing Out Sister found their biggest audience in Japan; that country's Pizzicato Five draws upon the same honey pot of influences, adding an electronic twist. SOS employs synths, too, most effectively as the bubbling undercurrent of "Waiting Game" or on the theatrical instrumental "Kaleidoscope Affair." But the group's ability to replicate classic forms with new technology is still its strongest suit. The technicolor horns and rich strings of cuts like "You on My Mind" and "Where in the World" draw a direct line from the 1960s, while "Tainted" grooves on an organ that suggests the later cut-and-paste work of pop experimentalists Stereolab. This CD reissue of Kaleidoscope World fleshes out the set list with instrumental versions of "Precious Words" and "Masquerade," a string mix of "Forever Blue," and the additional instrumental "Coney Island Man," which is perfect Nehru suit-wearing music.

Customer Reviews

Simply brilliant

Swing Out Sister is one my favourite bands from the 80s...their music smooth, vibrant and luscious. Picking up from their first album "It's better to travel" this one is more jazzy and bluesy but the same infectiously uplifting pop. Incredible that after hearing this album after maybe 20 years I remembered every word and sang along to all the songs…the music is so imprinted in my mind! When I was down I used to listened to Swing Out Sister and they picked me up every time. It’s like waking up to a beautiful summer day.

Stylish and atmospheric

Simply put... get this album. Forget about 'band of the eighties' and 'Breakout' stuff. This album is timeless and stylish with superb arrangements. It can be listened to again and again and delivers reward just as often. It may be twee at times, but most of the time it really conjures up light emotions that dance (to be slightly pretentious). Bacharach and cool jazz fans really ought to have this in their collection.

Biography

Formed: 1985 in Manchester, Lancashire, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Although Swing Out Sister's music is unashamedly commercial pop, their impeccable indie credentials (keyboardist Andy Connell and drummer Martin Jackson were formerly of A Certain Ratio and Magazine, and singer Corrine Drewery had no professional experience at all before joining), jazz-tinged arrangements, and knack for clever hooks move them closer to the indie dance territory...
Full bio
Kaleidoscope World, Swing Out Sister
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