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Kaipa - Notes from the Past CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.83 | 217 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars Tonight, prog fans are gonna party like it's 1969. Or maybe 1972. Because Kaipa's new "Notes From The Past" album has remarkably authentic, retro art-rock undercurrents to it. Without being bloated, self-congratulatory, or pointlessly nostalgic, it captures the foundational spirit of progressive rock in energetic, engagingly artsy songs and crisp, modern sonics.

Throughout, the performances are superb. Versatile bassist Jonas Reingold and prog-revivalist guitar hero Roine Stolt take typically outstanding turns, bringing their individual, edgy updates to the classic art-rock vibe. But the center of the album is composer/ keyboardist/ producer Hans Lundin, who keeps the sessions firmly rooted in the classic explorations of prog: the confident mood swings, the evocatively atmospheric textures, the edgy instrumental tones, the jagged bursts of sound, the presence of Hammond organ and spacey synth sounds, etc. From lengthy prog epics to short, poetic expositions, all of "Notes" is melodic (and relatively accessible by prog standards) without bowing to the commercial polish of '80s-era, post-Genesis neo-prog.

Ultimately, "Notes From the Past" manages to bridge two worlds, compromising to neither, a tremendous balancing act. For casual fans, its songs aren't quite compelling enough to make it a truly essential listen, but serious progheads will not be disappointed. It is a wondrous story of halcyon days, and fans of melodic art rock may well be swept away by its truth to prog past and timeless beauty.

| 3/5 |


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