Kaipa - Mindrevolutions
Year of Release: 2005
Catalog Number: IOMCD 208SPV 085-48332
Total Time: 00:00:00
I'm a big fan of Kaipa's Keyholder. The year it came out, it was second in my book only to The Tangent's The Music That Died Alone. Not too shabby when you consider both groups share some of the same members.
Mindrevolutions does some things better than Keyholder. To be fair, there are some things it doesn't do as good. In the end, if I had to measure one against the other, I'd say they come out equal weight. If I had to choose just one, I'd probably cast my vote in the way of Mindrevolutions.
While Keyholder may have been more instantly accessible, this one takes a good long listen. It fits the textbook definition of a grower about as closely as any album could. Each time I've returned to it, it seems I've liked it more than the last listen. After weeks of intense scrutiny, it hasn't exceeded the usual expiration date nor has it been relegated to the retirement home. It competes for my attention with all the newest releases and remains champ over all the other contenders. Even after a dozen listens, the music is still fresh to me and when the disc is no longer spinning, the songs continue playing in my head.
It seems all of Roine's music these days fits this bill and he seems to be going more and more in this direction. If I can give you some words of advice, don't be fooled by first impressions. You need to give this enough deliberation before rendering your final ruling. The more time you spend mulling over this one, the more likely you are to change your initial verdict. In the end, you'll find Kaipa guilty as charged for putting out another progressive rock masterpiece. These professionals were so crafty; they performed this heinous act when few even knew this crooked crime was coming. They deserve whatever support it takes to get them locked up in the studio for another album.
Here's what your mind will experience on each and every revolution of this dastardly disc:
"The Dodger" - This song has the essence of Karmakanic's Wheel Of Life along with a touch of The Flower Kings. This should come as no surprise when you consider a line-up that includes Roine Stolt and Jonas Reingold. Patrik Lundström's singing in this song, the whole album for this matter, is so much like Freddie Mercury it's scary. All in all, it's a wholeheartedly hearty tune. The bass lines are like Black Velvet in many places. Morgan Agren's drums are less quirky than past efforts. In this particular case, they're less fitting for fans of Frank Zappa and better endear the terms set by fans of Zoltan Csorz and Jaime Salazar.
"Electric Leaves" - On this album, the songs work well with one another. The first song penetrates into this one before switching into something different. This piece is quite reminisent of Kaipa's Notes From The Past album, especially in Hans Lundin's keyboards. Aleena's feminine singing will lull you like one [of] those Veelas in the Harry Potter series. Her added presence gives the entire album an added advantage. The instruments are sublimely synchronized. When Roine's guitar isn't coordinating with Hans keyboards, he's busy working seamlessly with Jonas' bass. The synergy of these players has greatly improved over time. On the other end of the spectrum, Patrik is busy doing another impression. In this particular instance, he sounds a lot like Stevie Wonder. He continues to do some of his best singing and demonstrates an extraordinary range. He is quite possibly the number one feature here, which is quite a change of pace. To be honest, he might have been one of the weaker contributors on the earlier albums. However, this couldn't be further from the truth on this one. Now it seems everybody has their game on.
"Shadows Of Time" - This song has the most potential for growth. It begins with a short, but striking instrumental. It could have easily started the album, but I'm sure it's comfortable where it lays its head and wherever it may roam. Since "The Dodger" is such a strong opener, I can understand the logic behind their product placement. After the intoxicating instrumental subsides, the tide turns as Aleena joins in with a heavenly passage. The harmonies and transitions that follow are sure to intrigue. Some segments are light as a feather. Other parts will pierce through even the most rigidly complacent listener. This is an example of great songwriting. So much is packed into this piece; it can easily be considered a mini-epic. Yet, the separate pieces are nowhere near piecemeal. They lock into place tightly for a formfitting and leak-proof design.
"A Pair Of Sunbeams" - Just like the pairing of the first two songs, this song transitions smoothly from the last. You'll actually think it was the same song until it takes on a shape of its own. This is seventies psychadelia and it's really spaced out! The opening is like Spock's Beard's "The Light." Then it feigns to a few notes that more or less sound like the theme song to The Odd Couple. This is short-lived as it adapts once again into a modern day Love Boat. The singing is like Daniel Gildenlöw's chanting on "Vampire's View," but much more happy and uplifting. The song is full of life and enthusiasm. While the beat is catchy, numerous details are sprinkled over this moist and scrumptious cup cake. You'll certainly want to gobble this one up down to the very last crumb.
"Mindrevolutions" - I cannot imagine anybody who'd disagree that this is the best track on the album. What's a "Mindrevolution"? I have no idea, but I know I like it. After hearing a fortune of fantastic songs that play together in tandem, this is another change of pace. It's completely separate from the rest of the songs. Considering its girth, it makes sense to give this song its own standing room. I think it's the finest Kaipa creation I've ever heard and it works wonders in the middle of the album. The melodies are tremendous. The keyboard solos are astonishing. The song is just truly engrossing. The bass bounds along like a jogger. It may even be the best bass lines I've heard on any of the Kaipa albums. I've come to expect nothing less of Jonas. His contributions seem to improve with every project he lands on. Each member takes their turn. We get plenty of keyboard, guitar, and bass solos. There are a number of audio assaults coordinated between two, sometimes three instrumentalists. The drums, on the other hand, are there to add a frictionless cushion every step of the way. The pavement underfoot is covered with tar that's both warm and soft. There is no chance for injury, not even the slightest slipup. The song moves along with guile and grace. It's cool how they speed up and slow down at will. At the brisk pace they move, it is easy to lag behind if you allow yourself to get lazy. While you may be unaware of the predator lurking behind the bushes, you'll be underway once you hear the sharp hooks or see the shiny molars. This might be why the music eventually grows on you rather than immediately registering with your senses. You'll come to anticipate and look forward to certain parts, but it needs to catch you when you're most alert. Once it does, it's just a matter of whether you'll choose flight or fight. Either way, this does a lot to grab your attention from slowing down to pacing itself to sprinting out far ahead. In this one, Patrik's singing is a cross between Elton John's and Freddie Mercury's. Yet, it's is no sad song. To the contrary, it is a song that is made for heaven. Patrik continues to impress me on this album. Actually, the more I hear this song, the more impressed I am with his singing. By the same token, I'm very impressed with Kaipa's overall songwriting. We are tricked with a record number of false endings. This seems to be the right kind of behavior for a song that changes cadence so very often.
"Flowing Free" - This is a nice follow-up to the grand epic that precedes it. The tune is much tamer than the last. After being hit over the head with an assortment of vivid watercolors, it is nice to be covered in earthly overtones.
"Last Free Indian" - As far as my favorites are concerned, this is a close second to the title track. It builds gradually with suave harmonies and a sophisticated acoustic guitar. This is evidence that less is much, much more. The intriguing melodies are intertwined smartly with the lyrics. Like a number of the earlier pieces, this song is sung very well. This is the only song that got under my skin on the first listen and it continues to burrow deeper. The chorus clicks and gets better with each occurrence. When the keyboards and guitar join in, there is chaos in the cosmos. This part is overwhelmingly imperious, but inspires at the same time. Dark hues are mixed sparingly with a wash of light rays. The result is some of the most exquisite aural art.
"Our Deepest Inner Shore" - This is another docile piece to offset the more aggressive numbers. Aleena's singing is an amalgamation of LeAnn Rhymes, Olivia Newton-John, and Kelly Clarkson. While it's a little bit country, it's also a little bit pop. You'd think this would come off as a hodgepodge of influences, but somehow it works. Her singing is most extraordinary in this song. The keyboards and bass stand in the corner, but their presence makes it unquestionably progressive. This is the sort of song you'd expect from Neal Morse. It's somewhat like, say, Bridge Across Forever, but Aleena's singing makes it one-of-a-kind. It's a real showcase of her talents.
"Timebombs" - The lines are somewhat repetitive, but I found it enjoyable nonetheless. Thanks to the bass, the beat hurdles through the air like a pole-vaulter sailing through the air and clearing daunting heights. I like how the energy and enthusiasm grows exponentially throughout this piece.
"Remains Of The Day" - Like the last, this song is also cyclical in nature. A simple piano and Patrik's voice hold hands in isolation. Aleena contributes a few words here and there. Her supportive tone compliments the music. A Hendrix-inspired guitar solo follows and then we come upon some spirited keyboards. All this gives us amnesty from our solitary confinement. The guitar in the end is like a freight train flying off the tracks. Its aggression will annihilate anyone who has mistakenly put their guard down. After this unanticipated derailment, Patrik pulls us back up the steep side of a cliff. There is both strength and fervor in his voice and its enough to return us to safety. His singing continues to be impressive from start to finish. This song is the right choice for the end of the album.
This sweet sundae will make you salivate even when only the tiniest dribble remains in the dish. It is incredible how much this group accomplishes on this album. I suspect a mountain of work went into this album. This slowly-cooked concoction has flavor in every itty bitty morsel. The time in the kitchen really pays off and provides us with a heaping helping of food for thought. It's a real delicatessen for your mind. Enjoy each bite, but don't wolf it down. You must take the time to revel in each revolution. You must revisit this music many times in order to experience every carefully chosen ingredient. While they've nearly maxxed out the capacity of the disc, they've managed to put symphonic pleasure into each and every moment. While there isn't much more they could do, something tells me they'll somehow find a way.
The Dodger (8:09) / Electric Leaves (4:13) / Shadows Of Time (6:50) / A Pair Of Sunbeams (5:19) / Mindrevolutions (25:47) / 6. Flowing Free (3:53) / Last Free Indian (7:27) / Our Deepest Inner Shore (4:59) / Timebomb (4:32) / Remains Of The Day (8:02)
Roine Stolt ? guitar
Hans Lundin ? keyboards
Patrick Lunströrm ? vocals
Jonas Reingold ? bass
Morgan Agren ? drums
Aleena ? vocals
Inget Nytt Under Solen (1978)
Notes From The Past (2002)
The Decca Years 1975-1978 (2005)
Angling Feelings (2007)
In The Wake Of Evolution (2010)
Genre: Progressive Rock
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