Exposé Online banner

The Last James — Kindergarten
(Tatra TAT035, 1997, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1997-05-01

Kindergarten Cover art

Is this Magical Mystery Tour Vol. II? Kindergarten is a brilliant concept album of intense psychedelic pop, loaded with Mellotrons, great vocal harmonies, song-to-song musical references, outstanding songwriting, and extremely clever arrangements that stack up well next to Magical Mystery Tour, Sgt. Pepper, Smile, and the like. The Last James is essentially the two-man project of Norwegians Lars Pedersen (guitars, mandolin, bass, insta-piano, Mellotron, xylophone, drums, and vocals) and Haakon Ellingsen (guitars, Harmonium, sounds, and vocals), joined by numerous guests on a variety of instruments. A strong 60s sensibility permeates the entire album — the choice of instruments (vintage all the way), the vocal and songwriting style (very much Lennon / McCartney influenced), and the overall production style go far to reinforce this. What? Do I hear shimmering sitars? A string quartet? A swirling maelstrom of psychedelic sounds with superimposed laughter? There's even a hidden track at the end that recaps the main title theme, then goes into the backward thing. Yup, this is some really cool stuff. Without going through a long-winded track-by-track here, lets just say this one is a strong contender for this writer's best of '97 list. 'Nuff said.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 12, 1997 releases

Related artist(s): Haakon Ellingsen, The Last James

Latest news

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Dzyan - Time Machine – Sometime during the cosmic period of German rock, when bands like Ash Ra Tempel, Amon Düül and Tangerine Dream flourished, there was Dzyan — who were busy forging their own cosmic...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues