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5 stars This is of course a Swedish band !!? This album, is a wonderfull outing,though i like their later efforts better!! But its nordic prog history...and you can hear where they´re coming from.... better still ...where they´re going to. Its beautiful lyrics in swedish. So if you..heard them first on:" Notes from ..." You need to hear this one !Kaipa...are great,though i would make a note of: Some of their albums are without the great Roine Stolt!! Give it a try!!
Report this review (#4093)
Posted Sunday, January 18, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars The third release from KAIPA and arguably their most complete work. KAIPA has always valued and accentuated a strong instrumental influence in their music and "Solo" does not jeopardize this equation in any way. KAIPA's "Solo" is a colorful and intricate progressive recording which mirrors the brilliance of their earlier releases with perhaps warmer tones. For those who love the FLOWER KINGS, KAIPA is really your Flower Queen! Roine Stolt plays his young little heart out here and adds some absolutely stunning guitar throughout the album. The vocalist (Mats Lofgren) featured on this recording was a new member at the time and does a great job, adding a new dimension to the music of KAIPA. Vocals are in native Swedish and should not wreck anyone's enjoyment of the offering. KAIPA create a very warm and compelling prog sounds, delivered with the very highest of musical competencies. KAIPA's music is very easy to listen to and never gets too sophisticated sounding. Instead we are treated to soaring musical escapes and clever musical interludes. The kind folks at Musea have added a couple of excellent live tracks to fill the digital medium and work very well in with the studio stuff. Many of the tracks have been re-mastered and the sound quality is very high! This is music of the highest caliber and is essential in my opinion.
Report this review (#4094)
Posted Saturday, March 13, 2004 | Review Permalink
2 stars I did not like this band. The sound too lush and pretty. Pretty in a bad sense. Those keyboard pads are just begging for some musak! I don't know but it all sounds too cold and cheesy, and lacks real dramatic feeling (like it would never happen with, say, old Genesis or old Camel). I even tried it with Flower Kings and the same feeling came over me. Not too original ideas placed one after another without much compositional thought. Even to lovers of melodic Symphonic rock i would recommend to listen before buying.
Report this review (#35455)
Posted Tuesday, June 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is as good as it gets in the history of Scandinavian Proggresive music! A full blown complete, nothing but a, masterpiece in every known sence! IMO this wonderful, perfect album of pure, honest and naive music can compare, yes; it's even up there, with essential albums like "Selling England..", "Tales...", "Close to the edge", "Wish you were here", "Brain sallad surgery"...well; you nameit! "Solo" has got warmth, humor, melodies, moods, inteligence, good production, mystic, sensualety, guts.....well; EVERYTHING!! "Solo" is the name of the little cute figure on trhe front cover, the cover also shows the mood in the album very well, I think. NOTE: I recommend the vinyl-version, cause the cd- version has been re-mixed to much on some tracks. The originals are better! Hopefully the, soon to be released version of "Solo" on the forthcoming BOX, will be true to the original! This is true prog in the spirits of the holy 70's, as it was ment to be, but nolonger is! Buy and fall in love!
Report this review (#35704)
Posted Wednesday, June 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Solo, third Kaipa effort, show us a band more professionnal but who loose at the same time a part of his originality. Songs are shorter and if each one is good or very good, none is really very impressive. These guys are always wonderful musicians, but it seems than they didn't know exactly what kind of record they want to create : pop prog in a U.K. style ? Classic symphonic prog in a Camel style ? It sounds less fresh and sensitive than KAIPA and INGET. Conclusion : fine music but I'm not touched by the global feeling of this one.
Report this review (#41614)
Posted Thursday, August 4, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars The third release from Kaipa is one of the best to came from Sweden and from Europe and my fav album by them. Roine Stolt delivers here his great potential of composing and playing, but also the rst of the musicians are highly involved in the album. Wonderful and colorful progressive recording, honest and well done. The first track Den skrattande grevinnan or in english the laughing countess, is the best from here, you could see haw easy they play, great ideas, well played. One of the best prog albums from late '70's and desearve status of masterpice, excellent work. It's a shame that the later Kaipa albums don't reach the same value like this one or previous one from '76, but we have Solo and that is enough to erase the uninspired albums from nowadays of this scandinavian band. 5 stars recommended.
Report this review (#122301)
Posted Wednesday, May 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog Folk Researcher
4 stars Except for the vocalist who sounds like a Swedish Thomas Dolby at times, I think this is a very, very good album. I wasn’t at all familiar with Kaipa before hearing this, but after playing it a few times it becomes pretty apparent where a lot of the sounds from The Flower Kings, the Tangent, and even Transatlantic came from. Apparently Roine Stolt cut his teeth with this band before going on to heavily influence the sound of the rest of the groups he became a part of. I can hear big chunks of the Tangent in tracks like “En Igelkotts Död”, and Stolt’s guitar work here sounds like a slightly tamer version of what he would do with Transatlantic several years later.

There were some pretty apparent influences on this band as well though. These guys definitely played a bit of Camel from time to time judging from the understated keyboards, probably Van der Graaf Generator just in the overall arrangements (“Frog Funk”, “Respektera Min Värld”, “Sist Pĺ Plan”), and definitely some Yes (check out the opening bars of “Den Skrattande Grevinnan” or “En Igelkotts Död”).

My favorite track comes near the end. “Total Förvirring” has a bit more energy in it than most of the rest of this laid-back album, and the synthesized guitar tracks make this sound a lot closer to eighties neo-prog than I would have expected of a late seventies band. Stolt’s command of guitar and his presence in this band is never more apparent than it is in this song.

With the extra tracks on the CD version the influence of Stolt and Kapia’s sound on the Tangent is even more apparent. I’m pretty sure “Sist Pĺ Plan” is a Tangent track, I just can’t remember which album. And if not, it’s close enough that anyone could make an easy comparison.

Overall the thing that strikes me most is that this is a progressive band in the late seventies, young presumably savvy enough to recognize the coming commercial shift in popular tastes to much more sanitized, cheesy and ready-for-MTV music. But for some reason they go out and deliver an unquestionably progressive album that manages to not sound like a throwback or Genesis tribute album or something. Bravo!

‘Solo’ didn’t make any inroads into the U.S. market that I’m aware of and too bad, because that meant I would have to discover these guys many years after this album released. Kind of makes you wonder what the progressive music landscape would have looked like if we’d had the World Wide Web in the seventies instead of having to rely on stoned ex-hippies who ran head-shop/record stores in dingy little store-fronts to import albums like this so we could discover them.

So, a very good album with some obvious influences but also a snapshot of a band in the process of spawning a number of bigger and more dynamic other bands. And the fact that the guitar is often more prominent than the keyboards leads me to the opinion that this is one of the very first bands that would develop the neo-prog sound.

I would say this is a well-recommended album. Four stars don’t seem to be an exaggeration. Worth picking up.


Report this review (#126067)
Posted Saturday, June 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is the last album from Kaipa Mark I. Dear friend Roine will leave the band after this release and start his solo career ("Fantasia") in 79.

Retrospectively, when one listens to this album, the influence on TFK's work is enormous here. The guitar is identical, the gorgeous keys are present as well. Only Roine's lead vocals are missing.

This is a very melodic album featuring lots of fine moments of which "Den Skrattande Grevinnan" and "Flytet" belong to the best.

The new singer is also more bearable, although not really great. But who cares! This album is mostly instrumental and these parts are very good. Of course, the ones who were expecting another epic like "Skenet Bedrar" were disappointed since this album featured mostly short pieces of music.

Only one blunder: the instrumental (surprisingly) "Frog Funk". It could have been easily avoided. On the other hand, one of the most vibrant song is "Visan I Sommaren" featuring an excellent vocal part! Not really in line with the rest of this album.

To go back to a more formatted experience "Taijgan" brings us back into the nice guitar of Roine. One has to agree that the guy is extremely gifted (even at this early stage of his life).

My favourite track is the beautiful "En Igelkotts Död". A fabulous and emotional instrumental. Fully "Genesis" oriented, that's for sure ("After The Ordeal"), but so poignant (but some might say it is plagiarism.). I like it an awful lot.

This album offers real gems, and it is a pleasure to listen to the great "Total Förvirring" during which Roine shines again brilliantly. Another highlight of this album even if Mats Löfgren is not convincing (but I already wrote what I felt about him).

The closing song of the original album is also a memorable moment. Strongly "Yes" oriented (even if the first part reminds me more of "Broadway Melody of 1974" from who you know), it conveys a lot of passionate guitar and believe me, the role of Roine on this album is huge. One will see (and mostly hear) how much the band will suffer from his absence on their later releases. The bonus live tracks on the remastered edition are also worth (just like on their previous album).

Four stars.

Report this review (#180561)
Posted Friday, August 22, 2008 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars I am amazed at the great reviews this album has received here. While it does have more prog element than the two albums that followed, those prog moments are few and far between. I would say this is more of an arty arena rock album than prog. I'd even prefer the pseudo- Genesis style of the previous album. That's how weak I find the songwriting on this album. I can understand why Roine Stolt left the group after this one.

The redeeming songs, and only truly prog tracks to me are the last two, Total Förvirring and Sist Pĺ Plan. They come close to making this album worth purchasing.

2.5 stars. I guess I'll round it up to 3.

Report this review (#279715)
Posted Wednesday, April 28, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Nice album for this Sweden band. A good album made in seventies with some brillant music parts. Lirics are in Swedish and I don't untherstand what is the song context but I listen some very beautifful music parts. Some psichedelic space rock guitars that remeber me some Floydian context and some keiboard arrangements very spacey made a good progressive melodic rock. Last tracks are live performances with good performances by musicians that compose Kaipa. A litle drum solo and a more interventive drumer in live tracks than in studio tracks. We can thing that singer and lirics are nothing special but just translate the message from swedish because de singer sing well. Good album for those like swedish progressive rock and a good adiction for seventies collectors like me. I give 4 stars.
Report this review (#295170)
Posted Wednesday, August 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars In 1977 Kaipa were one of the bands who were tackling the tricky dilemma of how to make their music more accessible whilst at the same time not outright sacrificing their progressive spirit. Of course, many bands would eventually just throw in the towel and sell out - naming no names here - but a few managed to find a compromise position which would point the way towards neo-prog.

Kaipa, on Solo, manage to cut down the song lengths without sacrificing progressive experimentation admirably, the secret to their success mainly being a reconfiguration of their sound to make best use of their secret weapon. That weapon, of course, was Roine Stolt - both in his guitar playing, which is more central to the band's sound here than ever before, and in his compositions, which are particularly prominent on this album.

Proving himself more than capable of mastering sounds used by the likes of Andy Latimer, Steve Hackett, and Brian May, as well as having an impressive number of his own tricks up his sleeve, Stolt is truly the star of this album, which retains the overall Kaipa atmosphere of uplifting, melodic Swedish prog but presents it in digestible, bite-sized chunks. If only more top-tier prog bands had adapted to changing fashions as adeptly as Kaipa had, prog might have been much healthier going into the 1980s.

Report this review (#557079)
Posted Tuesday, October 25, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars 7/10

Like many progressive rock bands Kaipa revamped its sound in the late 70's to seek greater acceptance and your third album titled Solo they supply us with a lot more songs than on previous albums, all of them short, between two and seven minutes. But somehow it turned out to be an advantage for the band, and a guy who had mixed feelings for his debut and did not like to sue the second album, I can honestly say that Solo is where Kaipa finally sets the pace and heads in a direction consistent . One thing worth noting is that the band explored (albeit tentatively) other genres such as blues (Anar Dig) or funk (Funk Frog). My favorite songs here are the opener Den Grevinnan Skrattande and the last, Pa Sys Plan, and in both there is a theme running, giving a sense of linearity to the album, like the one in Genesis made ​​some of his works.

3.5 stars, rounded up.

Report this review (#606184)
Posted Monday, January 9, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars After the release of ''Inget Nytt Under Solen'' Kaipa went back on the road for around 100 tour dates, but the plans of the band for an international success were suddenly disrupted due to the departure of bassist Tomas Eriksson because of musical differences.The three remaining members decided to hire a lead vocalist, so Lundin could focus on his keyboard work, and the new singer was Mats Löfgren, while bassist Mats Lindberg also joined the band.In December 1977 Kaipa recorded their third album ''Solo'' at the Europa Film Studios in Stockholm, mixed in January 78' and finally released on Decca in May 1978.

For their third effort Kaipa abandoned the long, epic compositions of their previous albums and offered a total sum of 11 songs, the longer one clocking just over the 7 minute mark.But fortunately the sound of the band remained delicate, complicated, adventurous, intricate and highly melodic with strong symphonic overtones and a touch of more Fusion-oriented vibes in some tracks.Additionally some of these tracks were tightly connected to offer longer and more diverse music themes with a flexibility regarding the styles and moods chosen.Overall the main core of Kaipa's sound was still grounded in GENESIS/FOCUS-like Symphonic Rock with a beautiful Scandinavian feeling due to the expressive Swedish lyrics, delivered by a new singer with a warm and sensitive voice.Musically the band still managed to present a unique combination of smooth, lyrical Progressive Rock and elaborated Symphonic Rock, based on Stolt's melodious guitar work and Lundin's efforts on organs, Mellotron and piano.The arrangements are clever with an alternation between intense interplays and calm instrumental textures, featuring strong Classical content in the keyboard parts, and eventually swirling around cinematic grandieur and imaginery soundscapes.

Add another beautiful Kaipa release in the list.Melodic, dreamy and challenging Scandinavian Prog of an extreme quality.Not to be missed and certainly highly recommended.

Report this review (#860466)
Posted Friday, November 16, 2012 | Review Permalink

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