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Kaipa - In The Wake Of Evolution CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.84 | 374 ratings

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Andy Webb
Special Collaborator
Retired Admin
3 stars In the wake of legacy

Kaipa is well known as one of the more popular Swedish symphonic groups of the 70s. Putting out a number of well-received albums through the 70s and into the 90s, they enjoyed a relatively large amount of success in their genre. Going on hiatus in the early 90s, the group returned in 2002 to record Notes from the Past with their former guitarist and current guitarist of the popular modern symphonic band The Flower Kings Roine Stolt. He left the band again after Mindrevolutions, but the band continued on and released their latest album, In the Wake of Evolution in 2010. My first reaction to this album, my first full album by the band, was the radical change in style from what I had heard of their earlier, 70s work. Whether it was the departure of Stolt or the change in musical era, but this modern work, to me, seemed much cheesier and more "polished" then their "vintage" eclectic symphonic work of the 70s (and of course they now sing in English). That sincere symphonic output was still there, but to me, it seemed like the band was trying too hard. Now don't get me wrong, this album is chock full of fantastic melodies and really great themes and dynamics, but in the end I feel this album is not up to par with some of their older stuff.

Now I've said before that you shouldn't compare a band's newer work to their older work and my comments about this album's "evolution" from their old style are purely biographical. However, my comment about the cheesy nature of the music still holds. Despite being full of catchy melodies and memorable themes and instrumentations, the music is pretty shallow. Although the atmosphere of the production makes the tracks have a much more grand appearance, behind the equalizers and studio reverb is some, however jovial and lighthearted, dry compositions. It pains me to be so harsh upon such fantastic musicians, but I really can't feel the inspiration in the music, despite it being good overall. There are some really cool moments, especially the great jazz-inspired rhythmic work and cool folky instrumentation (although the synthesized instruments used contribute to the overall cheesy sound the album has). Overall, the album is really a pretty good balance. It has very stark lows, as well as some rather high high points.

In the end, I have a pretty mixed feeling about this album. When I first delved into Kaipa's sound, I fell in love with the soaring symphonic melodies and lines of harmony (which I now realize hardly exist). As time passed, I began to realize that the album was a little shallower than it would like you to believe. Although I'm usually not one to accuse lyrics, I can't help but point out the rather simplistic (although they were a good try at some "deep" topics). They meld well with the melodies, but little can really be derived from the words. Overall, the album is good, but not fantastic. The definition of a three star rating is a perfect descriptor for this album: good, but non-essential. And that is how I shall leave this album. 3 stars.

Andy Webb | 3/5 |


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