The Chills - Kaleidoscope World
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Kaleidoscope World collects all of the Chills' early singles, starting with their contribution to 1982's Dunedin Double, Flying Nun's first release, through their 1986 single "I Love My Leather Jacket." It's clear right from the start that Martin Phillipps was a special songwriter and he was able to inspire whatever group of musicians he had backing him to great heights. Their very first song to see the light of day was the song that gives the collection its title, and it's an instantly hooky, restrained slice of underground pop that has a timeless feel. Phillipps was able to tap into this kind of warmly rollicking song almost every time he brought the group into the studio. The comp is full of songs that capture the restrained beauty and breathtaking emotion of that first attempt, seemingly in effortless fashion. "Pink Frost," "Rolling Moon," "This Is the Way," and "Purple Girl" all fit the bill; so does the slightly more rocking "Leather Jacket" and the morose but still pretty "Doledrums." Phillipps saved some of his weirder inclinations for B-sides, and it's fascinating to hear the straightforward pop songs balanced with these experiments and offbeat tunes. The disc provides a look at the formative work of one of Flying Nun's best bands, which is saying a lot, and also helps Chills fans who may not have been quick enough on the draw to get the original singles a chance to have all these great songs in one easy-to-digest package.