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Kaipa - Händer CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.32 | 52 ratings

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Anthony H.
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Kaipa: Hander [1980]

Rating: 4/10

Kaipa + ABBA = Kabba?

Hander is the fourth studio album from Swedish progressive-rock band Kaipa. It is also their first without original guitarist Roine Stolt. Unfortunately, all of Kaipa's progressive sensibilities departed with him. Progressive-rock fans can find plenty of things to get frightened about before even listening to Hander. It was released in 1980, which is almost enough to throw in the towel. Combine this disquieting release date with the insipid album cover and the short song lengths and it becomes obvious that we're dealing with an unfortunate case of prog-goes-pop. This is a synth-driven rock album that relies on repetitive beats and conventional song structures. Such things would normally be enough to make me run screaming into the night, but Kaipa does manage to retain a slight sense of creativity here. It is only slight, however. While it isn't as bad as it could have been, Hander is a boring and uninspired release from an ill-fated period of music history.

"Antligen" opens the album with a tired synthpop beat. The decent vocals are the only thing saving this track from complete wretchedness. The title track is a funky piece that brings absolutely nothing interesting to the table. "Regn" is an entirely boring instrumental that combines smooth-jazz with synthpop. The low point of the album is "Staden Lever." Literally everything about this track is dully generic. "Elgrandi" is a decent synth instrumental. The terribly overlong "Krig" extends dull musical ideas far beyond their conceivable capacities. "Alska Med Mig Igen" is a surprisingly enjoyable track that combines solid synth and guitar work with a catchy main theme. "Med Trasiga Segel" ends the album in a formulaic manner, with no shortage of dull beats and uninspired instrumentation.

Even though Hander is certainly not a good album, it's not nearly as poor as many other releases from the dark age of the 1980s. There are some good moments here, particularly during the instrumental sections. For the most part, however, this album is dominated with pitiful 4/4 beats and dully uninspired synth motifs. Few progressive-rock fans would be satisfied with such things. You can certainly do far worse with 80s prog-goes-pop albums, but that isn't saying much. Hander is a mediocre smudge on the record of a great band.

Anthony H. | 2/5 |


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