A Beacon from Mars

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Kaleidoscope's second album is the best non-compilation showcase of their legendary eclecticism and versatility. It takes in a blues-rocking cover of Willie Cobbs' "You Don't Love Me"; Doug Kershaw's Cajun "Louisiana Man"; a scary old folk song ("Greenwood Sidee," about a woman who kills her two babies); a hilarious country-ish indictment of marriage ("Baldheaded End of a Broom"); two good acid-folk originals ("Life Will Pass You By" and "I Found Out"); and two completely dissimilar ten-minute-plus originals: the Middle Eastern "Taxim," and the psychedelic workout "Beacon from Mars." Every one of these disparate styles is performed with authority and commitment, and the result still has the power to amaze.

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