Customer Reviews: Kaleidoscope
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on March 6, 2002
What happens when you look at the world through a Kaleidoscope? You see things a bit differently. The same happens when you listen to Rachael Lampa's sophomore CD of the same name. Instead of the meshing of colors, you get meshing of genres of music and instruments. And all the fragments of song topics are slightly different parts making up one whole picture -- the Christian life.
After seeing four songs from her debut CD reach number one on all three formats of Christian radio (inspirational, adult contemporary, and hit radio), Rachael is not unaccustomed to musical diversity. But if her first album can be called musically diverse, prepare for even more disparity on this new album...even within the individual songs themselves. Shaken one way, you'll hear signature power ballads like "No Greater Love" and "Give Your Heart Away," with the distinct grand piano of the London Symphony Orchestra. Turn it just right, and you'll hear techno/house funk with deep bass on songs like "For Your Love" and the opening piece, "Savior Song." Just a slight twist and there's Gospel/blues "Beautiful" and "Sanctuary" complete with choirs.
In keeping with the theme, Rachael's vocal styling changes somewhat with each'll hear Mariah Carey-esque histrionics, sprinkles of Whitney Houston's Gospel alto, Christina Aguilera soul, even Britney Spears-style techno/funk (and I mean that in the best way possible). That's not to say Rachael isn't comfortable with her own fact this album shows Rachael is developing a signature style of her own that permeates the entire recording.
Having seen her debut album break sales records, and heralding rave reviews from both Christian and secular media alike, perhaps the biggest question on Rachael's friends' (her term, not liking the word "fan" to describe her legions of supporters) minds is "Is it as good as the first?" While difficult to discern, the album is at least on par with the debut. There is definitely no "sophomore slump" here. What made the debut work so wonderfully makes this album work just as well -- the London Symphony Orchestra, the production talents of Brent Bourgeois and Brown Bannister, the smorgasboard of Christian writing talent and the diversity of genre all remain (albeit that is taken to the next level now). Yet the few details missing from the first are now here. First, we are treated to Rachael's own songs -- songs that she herself penned. However, listening through the album without first knowing the lyricists, one would hazard it difficult to guess which five songs she co-wrote...her ability to inhabit a song and take full ownership of is clearly evident. That, coupled with the fact that her songs are also diverse -- one Gospel ("Sanctuary") two pop ("I'm All Yours" and "Lead Me (I'll Follow)"), one power ballad ("Give Your Heart Away"), one an intriguing mix of deep house/funk/R&B ("A Song for You").
One other thing missing from her debut was a unified theme. Ironically, the theme for Kaleidoscope is truly living for God. The listener is taken through all the stages. From "Lead Me" to "Give Your Heart Away" to "Savior Song" to "Brand New Life" to "Sanctuary" to "No Greater Love" to "I'm All Yours," even the titles make it evident that the theme here is salvation...God's calling and touch at all the stages. And for those who complain about the lack of "Jesus" in modern Christian music, our Savior's name is used in more than once on this album.
Comparisons and a unifying theme aside, this album truly is different, yet it also seems so familiar. The only trouble I forsee with this album is its genre diversity -- those with definitive stylistic preferences may end up skipping some songs; but music afficionados will, even upon its first play, discover this album is a masterpiece of modern Christian music by an artist and instrument of God's choosing who will be around for many years to come.
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on March 5, 2002
Her voice is amazing. Thats all that really needs to be said about Rachael Lampa. A true vocal powerhouse. The songs are wondeful as well. It all can be considered pop and similiar to that of Christina Aguilera and Jessica Simpson, but she sings about her love of God. Standout tracks include the lovely ballad No Greater Love and the upbeat Savior Song. The one track that will blow you away is Give Your Heart Away. A stunning ballad that Racheal sings her heart out on. She hits the notes with such power and emotion you can't help but fall in love with this gifted and talented singer.
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on March 7, 2002
There is no doubt that Rachael can sing. It doesn't take long to see that comparisons between the young diva and women like Christina Aguilera and Celine Dion are fully justified. Unfortunately, this album doesn't quite hit the mark of greatness achieved by her last project. The songs are good, and we are spared the brassy pop of such cave-to-the-musically-illiterate-Christian-market songs like "God Loves You" (you know it, you know it, you know it...) However, this project is lacking the breath of genius of "Blessed" and "Free" leaving this listener to wonder--what happened?? Some songs have shades of Avalon or Point of Grace (if these folks could sing like Rachael that is!) with their steady 4/4, overdone major keys, and Christian platitudes. In some, the instrumentation actually takes center stage over Rachael's voice--truly a tragedy. Don't get me wrong--the CD is quite good and definitely better than most available on the Christian market. Perhaps I was wrong to have such high expectations. Perhaps there is no recreating the magic of Rachael's first project, "Live For You." Or perhaps, Rachael's team is simply evolving and will eventually create a superstar out of her after all. I, for one, thing she has everything it takes. Though I am disappointed, I am still blown away by this young lady's talent. I give "Kaleidoscope" a very respectable 4.
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on October 5, 2002
I can't count how many times I've listened to this CD! Anyway, Rachael Lampa has a really nice and powerful voice... Song ratings out of 5 (5 highest)
1. Saviour Song 4.5 -- somethings get annoying but it's OK
2. I'm All Yours 5 -- very good pop song
3. Brand New Life 4 -- Good song
4. Lead Me (I'll Follow) 5 -- Catchy
5. No Greater Love 5 -- Very nice slow song
6. For Your Love -- 5 -- Also a good song
7. Beautiful 5 -- I really liked this song
8. Sancuary 2 -- i didn't like this song (the chorus was OK though)
9. It's About You 5 --
10. Give Your Heart Away *6* -- the BEST song on the CD
11. A Song For You 3.5 -- OK song
Overall, this CD was VERY VERY good. I hope Rachael Lampa has more CD's out soon!!!
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on October 2, 2012
I love this CD so much. The day that I got it and listened to it I was relished in pure ecstatic joy! The funny thing is that I don't even see myself as a religious person. However, I am drawn to the pop, rock, R&B and gospel feel of the CD and the lyrics of praise to me are more precious than inescapable in an annoying way. Never have I been this satisfied with a batch of religious songs since I listened to her debut Live for You. Rachael went all out here -- more pop, more rock and even more lyrics penned by our dear songstress. "Beautiful", "I'm All Yours" and "Lead Me (I'll Follow)" are my top 3. "Sanctuary" is probably the only track that skates on filler. It's really a shame though that on her 2011 effort the singer's voice isn't up to snuff anymore. :/

Anyway, if you love religious music with a lot of pop and some rock beats then you will love this CD. It's excellent and don't let anyone tell you different. My favorite Rachael Lampa CD E-V-E-R~ (but her debut is so close)! xoxo

Rachael's other releases and how I rate them:
"Live For You" (2000) -- Beautiful. 4.8 stars.
"Blur" (2002) -- A mixed bag of cool and weird tunes. 3.5 stars.
"Rachael Lampa (2004) -- My first exp. with Rachael. Love it. 4.4 stars.
"All We Need" (2011) -- A complete disappointment in vocals and material. 3 stars.

This release = 4.8 stars.
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on August 10, 2002
I first heard of Rachael Lampa through the movie A Walk To Remember where she sang the song If You Believe and I thought her voice was beautiful. What I love about Rachael is her vocals and they really show in her ballads such as No Greater Love and My Faith. When I bought the cd, I was hoping for more songs such as those but the tracks were a bit more to the funky edge. The cd is not bad, but if you're looking more slow-tempo ballads with emphasizes on her vocals, you might be a little dissapointed. However for those of you who enjoy more upbeat and funky tunes, this cd is for you :)
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on February 10, 2003
The most wonderful talent in the world is a beautiful voice and with this, Rachael's talent is exactly that. An astounding range of vocals from breezy-pop (I'm All Yours) to classic soul (Beautiful) makes this album great to listen to whatever time of day. The amazing vocals along with beautifully written lyrics ensure Kaleidoscope is a huge success. Each song has a unique style and in particular the most wonderful worship songs written. Check out in particular 'No Greater Love' and 'Give Your Heart Away'. An overall A* album!
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on March 19, 2002
OK, here's the deal. Rachael Lampa came onto the scene last year with such momentum that most of us really didn't know what exactly hit us. She saw 4 singles sky rocket to #1 and won a Dove Award for Inspirational Song of the Year ("Blessed"). That kind of success for a new artist is not something to sneeze at. Her debut album, Live for You, ranked atop most critics Top 10 lists for 2000 (including mine). Well now she's back with her sophomore album, Kaleidoscope. It's easy to see that Lampa is trying to shy away from the "teen-pop" stigma that has plagued her since Live for You hit store shelves. Lampa took her adult contemporary sounds and meshed in some nice R & B to make a great sophomore album. The album flirts with modern pop, urban and old-school funk sounds as well. "Savior Song" starts off the album with funk and pop. She then moves into urban sounds on "I'm All Yours" and "Brand New Life". Lampa also belts out those power ballads like on the previous album, with "No Greater Love" and "Beautiful". However, my only qualm about the record is this: the album suffers from some major over-production. I think if the producers had possibly let the album ride solely on the beauty of Rachael's voice, it would have flowded much better. However, don't think that this album is bad, because it isn't. But, it neither surpasses nor fails in respects to her first album. No sophomore slump, yet nothing too memorable either.
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on November 2, 2004
i love this cd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i listen to it before i go to bed. it is sooo inspiering!!!
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on September 6, 2002
Rachael returns with a nice second CD that is more mature and more cohesive than her debut CD was. Though there is a little more pop feel to it that is better in that most of the songs are similar which helps one to stay focused on the overlying theme of the disc. Starting off with first single SAVIOR SONG, the disc takes off in the right direction. Some standouts and remarkable songs include other single NO GREATER LOVE which could be deemed as secular but is a nice song esp if one thinks of it as being for GOD. SANCTUARY is a song kinda like SHAKEN off her first disc as it speaks of showing and maintaining respect in the sanctuary. Soul midtempo and powerful BEAUTIFUL is probably the highlight of the CD as it is truly beautiful. The other song that come close to the beautiful BEAUTIFUL is A SONG FOR YOU which is very personal and just simply great. The other songs are terrific as well making this a great CD for many and anyone to buy to hear someone praising the LORD authentically.
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