Kaipa - Notes From The Past

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

Keyboardist Hans Lundin may have written the copious amount of music that spans the incredible eighty minute duration of Kaipa's comeback Notes From The Past, but the truth is that the effort has the name Roine Stolt written all over it. Not so much due to the fact that the veteran unit's new music does actually bring to mind The Flower Kings, but to how the entire affair sounds like one big nostalgia trip for both symphonic rock listeners and musicians alike. One could very well imagine this album being created thirty years ago were a few minor changes effected, and with the stubborn addiction to expecting things the same way for decades that afflicts many prog listeners, that is certainly a healthy financial characteristic. Ever been told that the only thing that remains constant is change? Well, that's just because they never were exposed to an album like this.

And much in the same manner that each The Flower Kings record is a give or take affair that's end result depends on the number of mediocre or kitschy tracks set against the number of good ones, the general effect of Kaipa is all left to the same balance. Nothing has changed in the sense that the entire album is classic symphonic rock developed exactly according to the predictable specifications of a large number of the progressive population, but the fact is that whether the formula works or not is an entirely different manner. And to make a long story short instead of forcing you to clutch at your present seat in maddening impatience: it works only halfway. Sure, those who find The Flower Kings to be the living messiah of prog will immediately want to acquire Notes From The Past, but the rest of the world, I'm afraid, won't be so easily convinced into doing so.

It's actually not that the material contained herein shifts mostly towards the side of the awful, because with the exception of the ultra-corny waste of "Mirrors Of Yesterday," and perhaps both the title tracks, most of the songs created by Lundin and played by his fellow members are a pretty interesting lot. The merry-go-round frolicking of "Night-bike-ride (on Lilac Street)" is a joy to listen to, and "Morganism" is a pretty cool funky throwback instrumental with some brass thrown in for good measure. Yet for every moment of apparent genius, that is, whenever Lundin and company hit bull's eye, something goes wrong at one point or another and proceeds to succinctly spoil the party somewhat. Take the annoyingly nasal slurring of Patrik Lundström on the otherwise absorbing "Leaving The Horizon," the overtly strained vocals of Aleena Lundin, which would have probably sounded angelical had they been sung on a lower key, on "A Road In My Mind," or the way in which the initial glorious explosion of "Folke's Final Decision" begins alternating with some terribly hackneyed melodies. In fact, take whatever similar example you can gather from Notes From The Past, and the conclusion is always the same: something seems to always go wrong when everything seems to be going perfectly.

It's not like there isn't anything favorable to pick out of the album, however. Never mind the tightness and skill of every musician playing on it; it is the fact that Stolt never sounds like Steve Howe that is really surprising. That's right, listeners across the planet can now listen to a recent progressive rock album in which Stolt sounds like none other than himself, and it's actually quite an enjoyable experience. Moreover, one can't forget that although there are quite a few bad surprises strewn along Notes From The Past, they are located in between a great deal of good ones, so that the result is not a catastrophic one, but more like a dampened image of what could have been a great album. As it stands, however, it is exactly that: an album that had the potential to make it to the big leagues, but never did.

Similar artists: The Flower Kings, Yes

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 Lundin and 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: August 25th 2002
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website: www.kaipa.info
Hits: 677
Language: english


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