Kaipa - Notes From The Past

Year of Release: 2002
Label: InsideOut
Catalog Number: IOMCD 097
Format: CD
Total Time: 79:07:00

I don't have a long history with Kaipa, so all I have to go on is this CD, the result of the band's reformation last year by original members Roine Stolt on guitar and Hans Lundin on keyboards. They are joined by guests Morgan Ågren on drums, Jonas Reingold (The Flower Kings) on bass, Patrik Lundström (Ritual) on lead and backing vocals and both Tove Thörn Lundin and Aleena on lead vocals, each for one track. Heard in isolation, you may suspect this release was from the The Flower Kings, but whether that means that Stolt carried on the Kaipa sound with TFK or brought the TFK to this new Kaipa? I can't say. From Bobo's comments in his review, I gather that, as I suspected, it is the former.

There is much one can say about Notes From The Past, one filled with bright and light arrangements, leaving one with a positive feeling when all is said an done (as bit like Yes in that). Every track is packed with beautiful, soaring, searing guitar lines from Stolt, the equally beautiful, and melodic, symphonic keyboard work from Lundin. I like the way Lundströrm sings, his tone is soft, which fits right in with the swirling beds of keys, the shimmering guitar phrases, the splashes of percussion and throbbing bass. On Mirrors Of Yesterday" his delivery is intimate, close. There is something very uplifting about the upbeat and breathy vocal section of "Leaving The Horizon." As with the best releases, what's happening underneath the main instruments, in this case the bass and drums, is just as interesting.

The brush with which this tapestry of music is painted includes colours from the Yes palette, and not just in the above mentioned positive outlook, but also in the occassional Steve Howe like guitar passages from Stolt. But you will find a few Pink Floyd strokes on the canvas, too (in the opening passages of "Notes?" for example). Tove Thörn Lundin recites the poetic words of "In The Space Of A Twinkle" over what begins as thoughtful, melancholic keyboard phrases, but soon becomes just as optimistic as the rest of the music on the album.

Booming, heavy rock comes in the form the instrumentals "Folke's Final Decision" and "Second Journey Inside The Green Glass," with the epic length "The Name Belongs To You," sandwiched in between. Like the other pieces on the album, "The Name?" is a piece with varying textures, more signature guitar playing from Stolt, and keys from Lundin. Much of this piece's mood leads into that which begins "Second Journey?" though this soon stomps its way with a meaty, pulsing keyboard effect under layers of more keyboards line, layers of keys keyboards and the taut bashing of drums. In the former, Stolt's guitar phrases cut with fine prescision without losing any warmth; they charge comfortably ahead, leading the rest of the instruments where Stolt wants them to go.

"A Road In My Mind" is the other track that features someone other than Lundström on vocals, and this time it is Aleena. I'm afraid I don't care much for her style of singing, which seems rather strained, certainly when she's trying for the higher notes. A mainly acoustic track, the middle section is another energetic guitar solo by Stolt that comes like a sudden downpour of rain, clearing again to return to the main theme.

"Morganism" is at once an angular, big bandish, jazzy and fusion piece that also features guests Lennart Lind on trombone, Lars Lindejö on sax, and Tege Rolander on trumpet. As you might expect by the track's name, Morgan Ågren's drums are front and center, sharing space first with Stolt's tight guitar lines, then Lundin rich, symphonic keys, and then with Reingold solidly throbbing bass. And you'd think that that would be enough to make this piece complete, but on the other side of halfway through, we get a sparse piano interlude that leads into a flurry of drums and percussion from Ågren? and with them together we get a slow, tension wraught build to? to a conclusion. One expects that it will lead to a restatement of the first theme. That it doesn't, a) makes them feel more like two pieces and b) means the ending of the latter is less than satisfying.

As with the Flower Kings, there may more music than is necessary, but it's wonderfully played. Does that excuse excess? No, but it does give it some redeming value. Nevertheless, I think this is a wonderful album, quite rich and deep, textured?. not unlike the Per Nordin artwork that graces the cover and booklet (and whom I shamefully failed to mention in my Progression article on cover artists). This is what got me into progressive rock, this tapestry of sound that reveals new layers on each listen, reveals little elements that you don't notice the first time through, the second time through? It's not perfect, and so doesn't quite get the full marks, but it is very, very good and does come recommended.

Notes From The Past ? Part 1 (3:09) / Night-Bike-Ride (On Lilac Street) (3:28) / Mirrors Of Yesterday (6:17) / Leaving The Horizon (14:10) / In The Space Of A Twinkle (3:27) / Folke:s Final Decision (4:03) / The Name Belongs To You (13:46) / Second Journey Inside The Green Glass (5:55) / A Road In My Mind (7:17) / Morganism (10:33) / Notes From The Past ? Part II (6:58)

Hans Lundin - Hammond, synthesizers, mellotron, piano, vocals
Roine Stolt - electric and acoustic guitars
Morgan Agren - drums
Patrik Lundström - vocals
Jonas Reingold - bass
Aleena Tove Thörn Lundin - additional vocals

Kaipa (1975)
Inget Nytt Under Solen (1978)
Solo (1978)
Händer (1980)
Nattdjustid (1982)
Notes From The Past (2002)
Keyholder (2003)
Mindrevolution (2005)
The Decca Years 1975-1978 (2005)
Angling Feelings (2007)
In The Wake Of Evolution (2010)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin SE

Added: May 18th 2003
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.kaipa.info
Hits: 861
Language: english


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