Kaipa is a very familiar name for many prog fans. The band has quite an impressive history: Formed in the early 70’s, released 5 albums and then after 1982 it became quiet around Kaipa. Until 2002, when founding members Hans Lundin and Roine Stolt got back together and revived Kaipa with the excellent album Notes from the Past. That was my first taste of Kaipa and it was good. Not surprisingly, as Sweden has a fine reputation when it comes to prog music.
Now, some 8 years later, Kaipa is still active and have now released their 10th studio album, In the Wake of Evolution. I haven’t been following Kaipa, so I missed a few albums, like the predecessor, Angling Feelings. This album introduced a new guitar player, Per Nilsson (Scar Symmetry), who is also present on In the Wake of Evolution. Apart from this change, Kaipa has a very stable line up.
First impression of the album: the same familiar Kaipa sound. Despite the fact that Kaipa does not exactly bring us shockingly new music, I really enjoy this album, even more than I would have thought. Fact is, every band has his own sound, but in the case of Kaipa, and especially this album, they have created a very pleasant atmosphere, that already starts in the first song, the title track, In The Wake of Evolution. It is melodic music at its best. And I do have a huge soft spot for both Aleena Gibson and Patrick Lündstrom. They have such unique voices and for me that is why Kaipa stands out.
And I find the sound of the album fresh. Like the transition from winter to spring. That’s the feeling I get while listening to the album. Lundin has taken his time to work out the songs, as they are all quite lengthy, clocking around 8-10 minutes, but this is good, as it brings a certain rest or peace in the songs. Just listen to songs like In The Heart Of Her Own Magic Field or Smoke From A Secret Source. These are a delight to listen to, with so many tasty guitar parts by Nilsson. Wow, what a fantastic addition to the band he is!
Two songs are a bit shorter: Folkia’s First Decission, just over 2 minutes, is a true folk piece, with the familiar flute in it, very nice and entirely instrumental. The other one, The Words Are Like leaves, is one of my favourite songs on the album, with a beautiful duet of Aleena and Patrick, who have different vocals, but together create something magical.
Highlight of the album is Electric Power Water Nodes. Oh, and I have to mention it: I love the song titles! They can make your imagination go wild. Back to the song: this epic clocks almost 18 minutes and that is 18 minutes of sheer musical pleasure! A well spun out composition, with fantastic keys by the mastermind, Hans Lundin, but no less performances by the rest of the band. No doubt this song will become a real classic.
Reviews are always the opinion from the reviewer and I think the most important question is: is this album worth buying? Absolutely! It is still early in 2010, but In the Wake Of Evolution is a real contender for ending up in my top 10 for 2010. And since the record label only provided a download for the review, I will certainly buy this album for my collection.
****+ Marcel Haster (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
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