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Kaipa - 2002 Notes From The Past




ARTIST: Kaipa
ALBUM: Notes From The Past
LABEL: Inside Out
SERIAL: 6 93723 41982 4
YEAR: 2002

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Hans Lundin - hammond organ, synths, mellotron, piano, vocals * Roine Stolt - electric and acoustic guitars * Morgan Agren - drums * Patrik Lundstrom - vocals * Jonas Reingold - fretless and Yamaha custom basses * Aleena & Tove Thorn Lundin - additional vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Notes From The Past * 02 Night-Bike-Ride (On Lilac Street) * 03 Mirrors Of Yesterday * 04 Leaving The Horizon * 05 In The Space Of A Twinkle * 06 Folke's Final Decision * 07 The Name Belongs To You * 08 Second Journey Inside The Green Glass * 09 A Road In My Mind * 10 Morganism * 11 Notes From The Past - Part II

WEBLINKS: www.kaipa.info


Background
This is Kaipa's first release in two decades - that alone seems to be a reason to get excited. I've noticed that it seems to have created a small buzz on prog-rock message boards across the net. The record company press release says this new CD 'has a sound which can easily be recognised by all those who loved Kaipa's music.. it has as many similarities with the old Kaipa records as it has its differences.' Okay, the first major difference here is that the vocals are all in English, whereas before, many of them had been in Swedish.


The Songs
The big vocal which opens 'Notes From The Past' reminds me a little of the vocal from 'Last Minute On Earth' from the last Flower Kings offering, 'The Rainmaker'. I thinks it's provided here as a mood setter, as from then on, things really kick in. 'Night-Bike-Ride On Lilac Street' is an excellent instrumental piece with some excellent bass-work from Jonas Reingold, one of Roine's Flower Kings colleagues. The stops in the intro are reminiscent of early Yes and Spock's Beard. The overall feeling is uneasy, with a lot in common with an earlier Kaipa composition, 'Den Scrattende Grevinnan'. 'Leaving The Horizon', the first of the album's three epics, is one of my favourites here. It features some rather fine guitar playing from Roine Stolt and excellent fretless bass from Jonas Reingold. The piece builds up with strings (which I think are probably keyboards, as I have no info about strings). The vocal comes in around the six-minute mark and, to my mind, it's one of Patrik Lundstrom's best performances on the album. Definitely a strong arrangement all round, finishing with a guitar solo which can easily be recognised as being played by Roine Stolt - he has such a great tone. Despite having a slightly irritating narrative, 'In The Space Of A Twinkle' - a keyboard based piece - is very atmospheric, like a distant cousin of the title cut from the last Flower Kings album.

The album's next 'golden moment' comes in the shape of the second epic, the thirteen minutes plus 'The Name Belongs To You'. It has another solid arrangement, with an excellent balance between Hammond organ from Kaipa's founder Hans Lundin and Steve Howe-esque lead guitar from Roine. This track finishes up sounding like the band members are all trying to out-play each other, with powerhouse drumming from Morgan Agren and Roine Stolt hammering away on a wah-wah pedal. The closing tracks from the album sound a little less like the Flower Kings - I think Roine's recent works have a had a little influence over the new Kaipa, especially with Jonas Reingold in tow. The end of the album has more in common with old-school progressive rock, nearer to some of the stuff from Kaipa's 1978 album 'Solo'. 'Second Journey Inside The Green Glass' has a keyboard sound which is a dead ringer for the Genesis classic 'Watcher Of The Skies'. This is definitely a sound which Kaipa strongly favour as it can be heard on a lot of their old stuff - 'Total Forverring' comes to mind. It then descends into psychedelic percussive clanking - quite challenging but, once again, features superb playing all round, especially from Roine. The last epic, 'Morganism' is an instrumental piece, designed to show off the musical talents of ex-Zappa drummer Morgan Agren. Although this ventures into jazz territory, it proves the new Kaipa are a strong musical unit.


In Summary
At just over 79 minutes, this album is rather long. I advise listening to it in two sittings - tracks 1-7 then 8-11 work best for me. To sum up then - yes, the new Kaipa album IS different from old Kaipa in some ways. Not too much, though - it's still obviously Kaipa in some places. The old fans should like it, though possibly not as much as fans of the Flower Kings.


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