Kaipa is one of the classic Swedish symphonic prog bands. They made three great albums between 1975 and 1978. Kaipa (see review) in 1975, Inget Nytt Under Solen (see review) in 19 76 and Solo (see review) in 1978. After Solo guitarist Roine Stolt left the band. Keyboard player Hans Lundin carried on through the early 1980s, making two more Kaipa albums Händer (1980, see review) and Nattdjurstid (1982, see review), which were in a much more poppy direction. After that the band ceased to exist, although its musicians remained active. Roine Stolt with a variety of projects, including solo albums, The Flower Kings and Transatlantic. Lundin made several solo albums as well (and progmetal group Hagen) and resurrected Kaipa in 2002 with an all new line-up - except that at first Stolt was present on both Notes From The Past (2002) and Keyholder (2003) but bailed out again afterwards.
Now Stolt saw it fit again to add Kaipa to his already busy schedule and reformed his own version of the band. For this, he reunited 3/4 of the classic 1970s line-up with Ingemar Bergman (drums) and Tomas Eriksson (bass) and adding his brother Michael Stolt to sing and Max Lorentz taking the keys. They did a couple of gigs, playing old material. Now with guests Peter Lindberg (steel guitar), Ludde Lorentz (sax) and Swedish folk singer Merit Hemmingson (vocals) they recorded the 'proper' follow up to Solo under the moniker of Kaipa Da Capo. They named it Dårskapens Monotoni.
Of course, Roine's guitar sounds like it does and this gives references to all his other activities (including some Kaipa). While the music on this CD will please Kaipa fans of old as well as fans of The Flower Kings and the likes, there are some clear differences. It is fun to hear Swedish vocals (a difference from the Lundin-led version of the band who switched to English in contrary to the mid-1970s version of the band) by Michael who has a rougher voice than his brother (and it sounds to me like he has an English accent, which is odd!). This roughness fits very well to the bluesy tinge in some tracks. However, there are also influences from folk, jazz-rock and obviously symphonic prog as basis.
The title track (whose title translates as 'The Monotony Of Foolishness', by the way) opens the disc. First, we get a typical Stolt guitar-line, then the piece drifts into somewhat heavier realms and we first get to hear Michael's voice. I can imagine that people who are not used to hearing Swedish may need a moment or two. I love it. A great opener.
Vi Lever Här is a relatively simple, folky song that is both uplifting and melancholic. While I find the basic theme a bit simple, I especially like the instrumental part halfway through that pleasantly reminds of The Flower Kings (and Yes).
Det Tysta Guldet starts with a definite Oriental twist (although one could arguably say that it also reminds of Sami music) and Merit's wordless singing along with a wonderful guitar line. Then a church-organ that reminds of Wakeman's majestic contribution to Awaken. Just wonderful and one of the must-listen-to tracks from the disc. Just check that wonderful finale of the last two minutes!
Spår Av Vår Tid has an opening that sounds extremely like Genesis thanks to the Mellotron and acoustic guitars. A beautiful song, also thanks to Michael's warm singing.
One of the many highlights on the disc is the over 17 minutes long Tonerna (penned by Lorentz). It opens extremely swinging and grooving (jazzy also, and even a bit experimental), only to turn to more dramatic and bombastic sounds later on. I'll let you discover the many sides of that piece for yourself - and also the pieces that I did not describe here.
A great disc. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
**** Carsten Busch (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
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