Kaipa - Notes From The Past

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

Well, here was a surprise. You learn something new every day, and the day I picked up Kaipa's Notes From The Past was the day I learned what Roine Stolt did before The Flower Kings ? and what he's doing again. Kaipa, originally a Swedish prog rock band in the seventies and early eighties, has reformed recently, nearly twenty years since their last album. After a failed reunion in 1991 with the original Kaipans Tomas Eriksson and Ingemar Bergman, core members Stolt (guitars) and Hans Lundin (keyboards) have joined forces with Stolt's fellow Flower King Jonas Reingold (bass), Patrik Lundström of Ritual (vocals), and Morgan Ågren (drums), who has played with Frank Zappa and Mats & Morgan.

The end product has been described by the band as a bridge from the past to the present, and having done some research into the band's old material, I'm happy to agree with that statement. Notes From The Past does bear much musical similarity to the old Kaipa, but of course, the musicians involved have changed over the past two decades. Stolt's stamp is unmistakable, and fans of The Flower Kings would do well to include this disc in their collection. Notes From The Past is also the first Kaipa album with English lyrics, making it more accessible to a wider public than their previous Swedish albums.

For the most part this is fairly gentle prog rock, whimsical of lyric, relaxed in tempo. The writing is fresh and original, and the songs beautiful; it has a lazy complexity to it, nothing's really in-your-face on this album. The pieces all fit together just so. I have almost no complaints to air of Notes From The Past, it's sophisticated and classy, soothing to the mind while still remaining intelligent, interesting, and diverse.

For album highlights, seek out the clear-voiced Aleena, guest vocals on "A Road In My Mind" ? my favourite track by far, and such passion. That's not to denigrate the lead vocalist Lundström, whose dreamy vocals are perfect; his best performance to my mind is on "The Name Belongs To You." The instrumental "Morganism" is one of my other favourites, and out of step with the rest of the album. More up-tempo and jazzy, here all the musicians cut loose and show off, and there's a delightful brass-section cameo from saxophonist Lars Lindejö, trumpeter Tage Rolander, and trombonist Lennart Lind. "Folke's Final Decision," another instrumental, is another of the album's rockier moments, very sly, very cool. The only track I actually dislike is "In The Space Of A Twinkle," which is jarringly abstract and odd, less a real song than light music set to a poetry reading (spoken by Tove Thörn Lundin, words from a poem of the same name by Marie Pierre Amat).

The reunion of Stolt and Lundin is a happy event as far as I'm concerned. Here we have lovely, mellow prog rock from a pair of veterans who know how to make a real album. News is that this won't be the last "new Kaipa" album either, with another in planning for late 2003. That will be something to look forward to.

Similar to: The Flower Kings, Genesis

[This review originally appeared August 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

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: May 20th 2005
Reviewer: Karyn Hamilton
Artist website: www.kaipa.info
Hits: 550
Language: english


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