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NOTES FROM THE PAST

Kaipa

Symphonic Prog


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loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars When I heard the news that KAIPA were going to release a album in the 2000's I must admit I was a bit shocked. KAIPA's early albums are amongst the best from Scandanavia with the recent addition being now included in this impressive discography. KAIPA derived a very jazz oriented symphonic rock and I must say that "Notes From The Past" really carries more of a FLOWER KINGS feel than KAIPA in a lot of ways and this is not a bad thing ! From the original line-up only Hans Lundin (keyboards) and Roine STOLT (guitars) remain with the addition of Morgan Agren (drums) and Patrik Lundstrom with the magical voice (boy can this guy sing!). Musically this is emotionally enriched album with some wicked performing with standout drumming, wild keyboards (lots of mellotron) and wicked driving lead guitar.

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#4106)
Posted Saturday, March 20, 2004 | Review Permalink
paginadeoscar
4 stars Great album by one of the most interesting prog bands nowadays, with an old taste of oldprog school but played in our days, fantastic compositions and musicianship, listen "keyholder" too, which is also fantastic. Roine Stolt becomes again a musical living myth

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#4107)
Posted Wednesday, March 24, 2004 | Review Permalink
lor68
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Well this reunion seems a joke!! Don't get me wrong, the present work is pretty good and well arranged too, but this time Roine Stolt and Hans Lundin, original members of Kaipa,have performed a kind of emulation, concerning the recent stuff by Flower Kings, instead of looking for a more personal way, to be runned by Kaipa...Jonas Reingold on bass guitar and, interesting situation, Patrik Lundström from Ritual as a vocalist, are simply remarkable guests, but their contribution to this "Notes from the past" is not so much important..to me this work could be essential for the collectors of the whole production of Stolt only.As a matter of fact the present issue seems to be planned by Stolt and Lundin alone, probably with a noble purpose:get more of new fans and let the old ones be attracted by this new project (I don't know whether it's a true personal concept by Stoilte or not, but it never minds...).So at the end there's nothing new on the edge of this new attempt by Roine: He's trying to give lushness to the old stuff by Kaipa also in the next years ; check this album out, at least, as you could give it a chance!!

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Send comments to lor68 (BETA) | Report this review (#4108)
Posted Sunday, July 04, 2004 | Review Permalink
big_room@yaho
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.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#4109)
Posted Thursday, July 08, 2004 | Review Permalink
Muzikman
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Roine STOLT has made his way to success with his group The FLOWER KINGS over the past few years and folks like me never had the pleasure of listening to Roine play in his pre- FLOWER KINGS days. In the 70's Kaipa released several albums bringing attention to the young guitarist from Sweden. With the release of their sixth album since 1975, "Notes From The Past" reunites Roine STOTLT and Hans Lundin (keyboards). It looks as though they have not missed a step since they parted ways over twenty years ago. This music is yet another testament to the flexibility and talent of STOLT as a lead guitar player. Side projects such as this are nothing new for STOLT; he is also the lead guitar man for the super group TRANSATLANTIC. This outstanding album also features Patrik Lundström (of RITUAL) on lead vocals, Morgan Agren (ZAPPA, MATS & MORGAN) on the drum kit, and Jonas Reingold (The FLOWER KINGS) on bass.

The CD showcases a wonderful cross section of genres intermingled amongst progressive rock, jazz, and jazz-rock fusion. The vocals are equal to the task as Lundstrom, Lundin, and an angelic voiced woman named Aleena share the duties. Great music that leaves you wanting for more with each listen is the most memorable. I found it all to be infectious and powerful just like The FLOWER KINGS' music. Make sure you listen to this more than once before formulating any opinion, there is a lot to take in and process. This CD is highly recommended for anyone that appreciates progressive rock. Old and new fans alike will find this to be an exceptionally pleasing note from the past. Once again Inside Out Music comes out with a quality release right on the cutting edge of prog-rock. This one is a real keeper; make sure you do not pass it up.

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Send comments to Muzikman (BETA) | Report this review (#4110)
Posted Tuesday, January 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
hdfisch
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Edited 09/27/05!

This was the first KAIPA-album I listened to at all some two years ago or so and before I knew any album of THE FLOWER KINGS. I actually never heard their name before I bought it, but I listened a few samples and they convinced me completely that it's a great album. And after I received it, it just blew me away how stunningly good the music is. Somehow I just felt transferred 30 years backwards into past ---- well NOTES FROM THE PAST that's its title------of course it's fully RETRO, you can't call it PROGRESSIVE anymore nowadays, but I don't care what it is, it's just GREAT music. Anyway the whole argueing and discussing about what is Prog or not, I really give a damn sh... on it, what is important is that the music is not boring for oneself even after repeated listenings. And moreover I believe that if rock music really would have been going on progressing the last 30 years, that there would almost be anything left enjoyable at least for folks like me, maybe some strange sci-fi computer sounds. Actually I can't write anything else about the music on this album, it's just great music as coming right directly from the 70's with the difference that the recording quality is top-notch and on the level of 21st century. If you're into that old stuff, you should have this piece in your shelf! Released a few decades earlier it could clearly be considered as a masterpiece in progressive rock, still I'd would give it 4 1/2 stars!!

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Send comments to hdfisch (BETA) | Report this review (#4111)
Posted Saturday, March 05, 2005 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I've just got this album quite recently - about a month ago, I think - but it has become my personal favorite since the first time I listened to it. I've been spinning the CD more than five times in its entirety and everytime I listened to it, it always cheered me. I said to myself :"Hmm. this is the kind of music that satisfies my needs ". KAIPA's music is not something new for me as I have been familiar with other albums: "Keyholder" and "Mindrevolutions". This album is pretty similar in style with "Keyholder" but it's way different with "Mindrevolutions". Well, I guess the latter represent their major shift in musical concept and direction.

The master minds of this album are Hans Lundin (keyboard) and The Flower King's Roine Stolt (vocal, guitar). The music is a culmination of these two individuals' creativity. The result is a very rewarding music that should be in the agenda of prog lovers listening pleasure. I especially enjoy how intertwining melodies and solos presented between keyboard and guitar, strengthened with an excellent voice line by Stolt / Lundström and dynamic bass lines by The Flower King's Jonas Reingold.

The album kicks off with soft and ambient keyboard sounds of "Notes from the past - part I" (3:09) followed with nice voice line and howling guitar sounds augmented with long sustain keyboard notes. It's a brilliant intro which sets the atmospheric nature of the whole album. What follows is a bit complex instrumental composition "Night-bike-ride (on Lilac Street)" (3:28) combining the dynamic sounds of keyboard and guitar in relatively fast tempo music ala The Flower Kings. The guitar work is truly excellent, enriched with keyboard effects. The music flows beautifully and it's rewarding. The tagline melody becomes the melody of the whole album. I really enjoy this track.

Under "Mirrors of yesterday" (6:17) the band brings back the vocal line into the music while maintaining the ambient nuance. An excellent vocal line intro. "I'm searching for the blue sky ." lyrical part is melodic and memorable especially when it's followed with single layer keyboard solo. Interesting musical composition. "In the space of a twinkle" (3:27) title really represents the music: spacey with female narration, flows beautifully with long sustain keyboard sounds. What is a combination of slow rock and blues music with an excellent combination of keyboard and guitar sounds. At the end of the track the music turns out to be an upbeat instrumental piece "Folke's final decision (4:03)". It's really great.

"The name belongs to you" (13:46) I can consider as an epic with a catchy melody during intro, using soft keyboard solo followed with great lyrical entrance "There is a light ." . oh what a wonderful entry! The strength of this epic is in the combination of neat composition, catchy melody and wonderful solos featuring guitar and keyboard. Oh yes . I love the intertwining sounds of guitar and keyboard right after the first lyrical verse during opening. The music is very The Flower Kings - even a bit better, I think. It's so dynamic and powerful - truly satisfies my expectation of what good prog music is all about.

I personally value this album really high as the music stands out firmly as an excellent prog music with tight composition, powerful song writing and excellent overall performance. I don't see any lacking with respect to composition, songwriting or performance. However, I would rather put this album under four star rating - an excellent addition to any prog music collection - with a personal tendency to opt it as a five star album. Let time allows me to upgrade the rating in the near future. I highly recommend you to own this album. Keep on proggin' .!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#60279)
Posted Tuesday, December 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
infandous@exc
4 stars This album was quite refreshing for me when it came out. I was deep in my Flower Kings fandom and grabbing up any side projects they put out (still do......in most cases now, I like the side projects better). This was a different sound than the Kings at the time, since all the material was written by Lundin. Still, Stolt's guitar sound is unmistakable, and his production talents and style are there as well. Patrick's vocals don't bother me on this one, with the exception of track 3 (which is kind of a lame song to begin with). In fact, I was quite impressed with them on this album (though that would change on later albums). Overall, aside from track 3, there are no weak songs on this album for me. In the Space...., is a not particularly interesting and Nite-Bike-Ride is the weaker of the instrumentals, but the rest appeals to me greatly. Stand out tracks would have to be The Name Belongs To You, A Road In My Mind (for Allena's fantastic vocals........a bit strained at times, but for me that adds to the charm), and Morganism for great playing by all the instrumentalists. My only real complaint is that it is so long (like many Stolt related albums.....though this is not always an issue). The first half is the weakest, but still pretty good. This dynamic works well, as the saving the best for last is always a good idea (unlike the next album where the first half is excellent and the second half dull). In any case, I'd rate this at probably about 3.75, meaning it is not essential if you are not a big fan of Stolt and Flower Kings related music, but essential if you are. So I'll round up to 4 with that one caveat.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#105357)
Posted Wednesday, January 03, 2007 | Review Permalink
chessman
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This was the first album Kaipa released after Hans Lundin and Roine Stolt reformed the band. And it's a superb effort! The musicians assembled here are of the highest calibre. Jonas Reingold on bass needs no introduction, and Morgan Ahgren on drums has also worked with many of the best. Patrick Lundstrom has a very distinctive voice, very theatrical, and can put you in mind of Freddie Mercury, not so much in sounding like him, but in the way he phrases the words and notes. Aleena only sings lead on one song here, but she does a good job, though she surpasses herself on the following album, Keyholder. The song vary here, from superb, powerful instrumentals like 'Night Bike Ride (On Lilac Street) and 'Folke's Final Decision', to the more experimental instrumental 'Morganism' with its almost jazzy, uptempo feel, through two very melodic epics, 'Leaving The Horizon' and 'The Name Belongs To You', both of which are packed with wonderful keyboard and guitar work. The more straightforward 'Mirrors Of Yesterday' balances out Aleena's spot on the ballad 'A Road In My Mind'. There is another instrumental, the keyboard heavy 'Second Journey Inside The Green Glass', which is wonderful, whilst one of the most atmospheric tracks here is the shorter but haunting 'In The Space Of A Twinkle' with lyrics spoken by Hans's daughter, Tove. Her clear, strong voice, speaking in English with a slight Swedish accent, only adds to the other wordliness of the song. Also, Roine's guitar is impressive here. And bookending these songs are the first and last tracks, 'Notes From The Past' parts 1 & 2. Both are lovely, slower pieces, with great guitar from Roine, and restrained but effective keyboard work from Hans. Lundstrom sounds particularly close to Freddie Mercury on these two. This is a great album, almost as good as the next one, the brilliant 'Keyholder'. The artwork too is superb, and the whole package is delightful. There are echoes of TFK here, of course, as might be expected with both Roine and Jonas present. Ironically, there isn't much resembling the old Kaipa from the seventies. But the material here is strong, fresh, melodic, and well worth adding to your collection. The Swedes are giving us Brits a good run for our money in the 'prog Kings' stakes. And I, for one, welcome the competition! A solid four stars.

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Send comments to chessman (BETA) | Report this review (#108587)
Posted Tuesday, January 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Kaipa´s Notes From The Past is one of the best prog CDs I bought in the new millenium. It has a refreshing quality that reminds me a lot of the Flower King´s Retropolis and Back In The World Of Adventure. Of course the band is different, - even if includes TFK´s Roine Stolt and the ever present Jonas Reingold - but the quality is as high. Hans Lundin is an exceptinal songwriter and player, knowing quite well how to mix technique with sensitiveness. Songs like Mirros Of yesterday, Folke´s Final Decision and A Road In My Mind all have that kind of simple inspiration that is missing from the Flower Kings later work. All musicians are in fine form and definitly the vocals are very well done. The more you hear, the more you like and find something extra, as on any great progressive album.

A nice surprise, highly addictive music. If you´re into symphonic prog music, specially the swedish style of prog, you must hear this CD. 4,5 stars.

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#128820)
Posted Monday, July 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Some twenty-four years after having left "Kaipa", here is Roine again!

Actually, this is not truly a "Kaipa" reunion since only the duo Stolt-Lundin is represented. I have to say that it is pleasant to see both men working again together. IMHHO, "Kaipa" work after Roine's departure were average ("Händer") to poor ("Nattdjurstid") and this come back could be a good sign.

As soon as one listens to the title track (part one), which opens this album, TFK's influence is noticeable. But, originally "Kaipa"s style (at least in "Solo") was heralding what would later become TFK. The loop has been looped.

This album is 100% in the symphonic vein and it is true to say that Roine's mark is much more important here that during the early releases of the band (but he was so young at the time.).

One is projected during the whole length of this album (which clocks at almost eighty minutes, another TFK habit) into a beautiful world of melodies, fine guitar breaks of course and superb keyboards sounds of all kinds. At times, it is a real enchantment ("Leaving The Horizon") even if the similarity with TFK is annoying.

Vocals are real touching for most of the time and "Mirrors Of Yesterday" is a perfect example to illustrate this. The instrumental break (first the keys followed by some extraordinary and so melodic guitar) is just great. Another highlight of this very good album so far.

Even some short pieces ("In The Space Of A Twinkle" or "Folke's Final Decision") although not memorable, have their own merit (mostly thanks to the guitar work to be honest). But we're in for epics, aren't we?

So, let's get to "The Name Belongs To You", the second of its kind on this album. I have to say that "Leaving The Horizon" worked better on me. This one is too much jam / jazz-oriented to my ears. The guitar is wilder and not as polished: the whole sounds rather chaotic. It seems more to be a showcase for Roine. But too much is too much.

The beautiful vocals from Aleena (who will be the lead singer on their next album) are truly splendid. She brings "A Road In My Mind" to a high level, really. A wonderful and melodic song. Which is all the contrary of the long and dull "Organism". Ten minutes of a noisy and jazzy jam that leads nowhere, even if the finale is more atmospheric. Press next.

This fine album ends as it has started. "Notes From The Past" (part two) is just as pleasant as the intro. Melody, atmosphere...

In all, this is a very good album. I could have missed "Organism", for sure. But even so I rate this one with four stars. Symphonic prog lovers should appreciate this album but the relation with TFK's work is quite strong.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#180709)
Posted Sunday, August 24, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Does not contain the, in my opinion, the usual instrumental noodling/jamming that too often appears to happen when Ronnie Stolt is in not kept in check/left in charge, in certain Flower Kings recordings, the first Transatlantic cd etc.

The vocals and instrumental passages are blended together to form pleasing compositons that one can listen to time and time again and it gets better time and time again, where the endless noodling/jamming becomes tedious.

Too many masterpieces out there to give this one a 5 star rating.

As a personal note, prog artists should check the Allman Brothers live recordings on how to make masterpieces involving noodling/jamming. They (Allmans) aren't prog, but they know how to do well.

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Send comments to SMSM (BETA) | Report this review (#221346)
Posted Monday, June 15, 2009 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Notes From The Past is the 7th full-length studio album by Swedish symphonic progressive rock act Kaipa and the first album since Stockholm Symphonie (1993). The band was very active in the seventies but had longer periods of inactivety in the eighties and nineties. This album marks the return to a more regular release rate. The only remaining member from the original lineup are main composer and keyboard player Hans Lundin. Roine Stolt ( The Flower Kings, Transatlantic...etc), who was also an original member of the band, only appears here as a guest guitarist as far as I understand. The other main players on the album are bassist Jonas Reingold ( The Flower Kings, Karmakanic) and drummer Morgan Ågren ( Mats/Morgan Band, Fredrik Thordendal's Special Defects, Zappsteetoot, Frank Zappa, Dweezil Zappa, Fläskkvartetten, Glen Hughes...etc). Ritual vocalist Patrik Lundström handles the male vocals while the sparse female vocal sections are handled by Aleena and Tove Törn Lundin.

The music on the album is keyboard driven symphonic progressive rock. There are some fantasy/ folky elements in the music too as well as jazz rock/ fusion elements. The music is mostly intrumental but there are vocal sections in some songs. Most are handled by Ritual vocalist Patrik Lundström. He is a strong vocalist with a distinct sounding voice. I can´t claim to be much of a fan of his voice though but that´s purely a question of personal taste and has got nothing to do with the quality of his performance. The female singing are also of high quality. The lyrics are a bit cringe worthy to be honest and I must admit that allthough I enjoy the variation that vocal parts, on an otherwist pre- dominantly instrumental album, gives, I enjoy the instrumental parts a lot more. I´m probably getting of on the wrong foot here by pointing out the negatives but we´ll get to the positives later on. And don´t worry there are lots of positives to be mentioned. So while we are at the negatives I have to mention the 79:07 minutes long playing time. That is way too long IMO and I´m sure the album would have been even more powerful if it had been a bit more compact. So finally on to the positives. First of all the playing on Notes From The Past is outstanding. I initially purchased the album because it was mentioned on the cover that Roine Stolt was playing on the album and I was in a Flower Kings phase at the time where I simply purchased anything Roine Stolt was involved in. I had never heard about Kaipa before though. Well as it turns out Roine Stolt actually delivers one of his more subtle performances. Listening to Notes From The Past it becomes very clear that Kaipa is Hans Lundin´s baby. He is simply everywhere on this album. Great vintage keyboards and kind of joyfull and positive notes and atmospheres throughout. The jazz rock/ fusion element in the music is created by the rythm section. Bassist Jonas Reingold probably don´t need much introduction in prog circles but as always he delivers a stunning performance. The most important player on this album in terms of giving me a great listening experience is master drummer Morgan Ågren. He is such an incredibly skilled and powerful drummer. I´m at a loss for words really.

In terms of influences in the music The Flower Kings obviously comes to mind but I´ll add Änglagård to those influences as well because of the folky element in the music. A song like Leaving the Horizon is a good example of the Änglagård influence but then Änglagård might be influenced by the early Kaipa releases for all I know ( I haven´t listened to anything from Kaipa pre-Notes From The Past yet). While I find the album to be a bit too long there are no sub par songs on the album. The quality is high throughout and songs like the above mentioned Leaving the Horizon and the intrumental and fusion influenced Morganism are just some of the highlights on the album.

The production is warm, well sounding and professional. I´ve had Notes From The Past for just about as long as it´s been released, but the album has never been a favorite of mine and if I have to be honest it has spend the last couple of years in my dusty basement. Fortunately I opted to give the album one more chance and write this review because after eight years I guess my tastes have changed a bit because now I really enjoy Notes From The Past. It´s like I just needed some time to absorb the music to appreciate it. But maybe it´s got something to do with the positive vibe on this album. I´m usually more interested in music that oozes bleak melancholy or features sheer aggression but this album has neither. This is in every way a pleasant, warm and positive album and while I´m not a sucker for those this one works well for me. So this has been a great surprise for me and Notes From The Past certainly deserves a 4 star rating.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#270421)
Posted Monday, March 08, 2010 | Review Permalink
Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
4 stars Kaipa made a strong comeback in 2002, with only two original members left, keyboardist Hans Lundin and guitarist Roine Stolt. Stolt brought along bassist Jonas Reingold from The Flower Kings, who, along with new drummer Agren, give this band a rhythm section as good as any band out there. lead singer Patrik Lundström adds a new dimension as well. His voice often sounds like Freddie Mercury, and sometimes like a less-shrill James LaBrie. A female vocalist does a nice job, but at times her accent gets a bit weird ("the road is winding" sounds like "the road is whiny").

Standout tracks are many on this one, but I greatly enjoy Night-Bike-Ride (on Lilac Street) , Leaving the horizon, The Name Belongs To You, the buzzsaw rocker Second Journey Inside The Green Glass, and the funky fusiony Morganism.

This is an excellent start to what has been the best period of this band's career.

4.5 stars.

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#280312)
Posted Sunday, May 02, 2010 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This was the big comeback album for KAIPA released in 2002. Roine Stolt returns (after 24 years) and the original keyboardist Hans Lundin returns but they are the only two original members to make an appearance.The rest of the band are listed as guests but that will change on the next record "Keyholder" where they will be seen as officially part of the band. By the way "Keyholder" (with the same lineup as here) is for my tastes a stronger album than this one."Notes From The Past" really sounds like a lost FLOWER KINGS album only instead of Roine singing we have Patrik from RITUAL doing the honours. Reingold (FLOWER KINGS) is on bass and Mats Agren (MATS / MORGAN) is on drums. Also add female vocalist Aleena.

"Notes From The Past-Part I" is fairly dreamy with vocals and some soaring guitar. "Night Bike Ride (On Lilac Street)" really sounds like a FLOWER KINGS song. Some nice chunky bass with organ and guitar standing out. A good instrumental. "Mirrors Of Yesterday" is mellow with vocals. Piano before 1 1/2 minutes.Vocals stop after 2 minutes as an instrumental section takes over.Vocals return after 5 minutes as it settles. "Leaving The Horizon" opens with sampled mellotron as the music start to build slowly. It settles with flute-like sounds and mellotron before building again.Violin-like sounds before 4 minutes as it settles some.The song continues to build and settle the rest of the way. "In The Space Of A Twinkle" is mellow as spoken female words come in. It does get fuller. "Folke's Final Decision" kicks in right away.This is catchy.

"The Name Belongs To You" is mellow as vocals arrive before a minute. It changes as the guitar and bass lead after 2 1/2 minutes. Mellotron too. Keyboards start to lead. A calm 6 minutes in then the vocals return. It kicks in again. Mellotron then vocals before 10 minutes. A lazy guitar solo follows then the vocals return. "Second Journey Inside The Green Grass" opens with mellotron.It starts to build then it picks up after a minute. It settles back then sounds start to pulsate. Organ and guitar join in. More mellotron 5 minutes in. "A Road In My Mind" is where Aleena sings. She sings so well but i'm not a fan of her voice. "Morganism" is a great sounding instrumental where everyone shines bright. So impressive. "Notes From The Past-Part II" is like the intro track really as the album ends like it began.

At 79 minutes this is a long one, but if your a FLOWER KINGS fan I think you'll enjoy it.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#382745)
Posted Tuesday, January 18, 2011 | Review Permalink
Anthony H.
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Kaipa: Notes from the Past [2002]

Rating: 6/10

Notes from the Past was the first new Kaipa studio album in over twenty years. The terrible force of the evil 80s killed the band completely, and I imagine it was quite a shock for prog fans in the early 2000s when they learned of the band's reformation. Huns Lundin did not originally intend to resurrect the Kaipa name; however, he felt it was the most sensible thing to do after Roine Stolt joined the project. As the title suggests, this is a very nostalgic record. The lyrical themes frame its status as a reunion album. The band's style has not changed tremendously since the 70s - this is still full-blown symphonic progressive rock - but they have significantly modernized their sound. Clocking in at 79 minutes, this disc pushes the limits of the CD format. The production is distinctly 21st-century, and Lundin's synths sound state-of-the-art. Lundin and Roine are the only two original members here; bass duties have been taken over by Jonas Reingold of Flower Kings/Karmakanic fame, and Patrik Lundstrom performs lead vocals. On paper, almost everything about this album is amazing. In practice, however, I am slightly disappointed. While Notes from the Past is a very good album with a few spectacular tunes, it doesn't do a whole lot to move or compel me.

The album opens with "Notes from the Past (Part One)." This is an intro track, more or less, but Patrik Lundstrom's vocals and the Howe-inspired guitar makes it worthwhile. "Night-Bike-Ride (On Lilac Street)" picks up the pace with a funky rhythm section and bombastic guitar work. This is an excellent short instrumental. "Mirrors of Yesterday" begins with chirpy synths and melodic vocals from Lundstrom. There are some nice instrumental moments here, but it isn't particularly fascinating. "Leaving the Horizon" is the first of the album's three mini-epics. Unfortunately, it slightly disappoints. It's not a bad epic track by any stretch of the imagination, but there isn't enough here to truly compel me. "In the Space of a Twinkle" features some irritating spoken-word vocals, but Roine's guitar work saves it. "Folke's Final Decision" is one of my favorite pieces on the album. The main motif is memorable, and the guitar really sings here. The second epic "The Name Belongs to You" is an improvement over the first. Lundin's keys have a strong presence, Lundstrom's vocals are excellent, and Roine is a monster. Some fantastic retro organ tones appear on "Second Journey Inside the Green Glass." "A Road in My Mind" features female vocalist Aleena Gibson. While I recognize this woman's talent, I don't care for her voice. It sounds piercing to me. Thus, this track is not my favorite. "Morganism" is far and away the best track on the album. It's an epic instrumental with superb interplay and jazzy elements. "Notes from the Past (Part Two)" ends the album in a fairly average manner, although some nice guitar balances things out.

While Notes from the Past is a solid comeback album, it sounds a bit too by-the-numbers. Many of the songs seem to blend into each other. There are some fantastic standouts; "Morganism" and "Folke's Final Decision" are both particularly superb. However, the album as a whole lacks variety, and there aren't enough compelling compositional ideas. I am also disappointed in Jonas's small presence. He is too exceptional of a bassist to be pushed into the background. In short: This album fails to "wow" me. This is not to say that is isn't an impressive work; there isn't a moment of these 79 minutes that I do not enjoy (with the possible exception of Aleena's vocals). So, while this is indeed a very good symphonic-prog album, it is unessential. It doesn't pack enough of a punch.

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Send comments to Anthony H. (BETA) | Report this review (#570625)
Posted Friday, November 18, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars 8/10

What comeback. Wow, what a comeback!

Kaipa was absent from the progressive music scene for twenty years, but they are back with a new formation, which left only Roine Stolt and Hans Ludin of the original members. What we have here is a band with a sound very different from before, but trust me: this is very good!

You will immediately associate the songs on Notes From the Past with The Flower Kings, Roine Stolt that the band created in 1995 and has been a major exoentes modern progressive rock. Yes, the resemblance is undeniable at certain points - but considering that influenced Kaipa TFK, I think this is the answer to the question. And in fact the album is more than mere similarities. It has a fresh sound, intelligent and dynamic - everything a prog fan could ask for.

The album is very instrumental, as is evident in the epics. My favorites are the title track (especially part II, where the bass player Jonas Reingold - this from The Flower Kings - plays a great fretless bass) and Morganism, with various elements of jazz-fusion and trumpets section! Although they are clearly the best, the album is generally very, very good!

Strong 4 stars. Bring on more!

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Send comments to voliveira (BETA) | Report this review (#760652)
Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2012 | Review Permalink
2 stars This record was a disppointment som I'm writing this review in affect. I liked Kaipa's old production and have listened to some newer stuff but am surprised how somebody can do so boring and soulless music. This record is too long, the haft had been enough because I don't like this songs.

The voices are whiny and not nice at all. They are too externalizing when It's not properly and the lyrics too are boring. Kaipa should sing in Swedish such in the seventies, perhaps it had been more interesting then, but only perhaps. This record which is Kaipa's comeback from 2002 is 79 minutes long and features Hans Lundin and Roine Stolt plus the later members Patrick Lundström, Jonas Reingold, Morgan Ågren and Aleena and Tove Törn Lundin. Yes it is hard for me to say something good about this record. It is flashy and not deep. Yes many songs has really good intentions but as a unity I feel totally bored about it. They should have consentrated more on doing great and a little bit odd compostions. Its a little hard to find what's progressive in this. Through this disc all tracks feel the same. Best on this record was "Folke's final decision" which was a nice track with symphonic feeling. But I wonder also why they were doing so many long tracks, I see no meaning with them. Long tracks can be som astonishing but these are just protracted.

As a conclusion, don't listen to this record, the prog world is full of much better material. We also have swedish progressive music with less well produced songs and weird music such as Arbet och fritid could be for example, it's much more interesting than this.

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Send comments to DrömmarenAdrian (BETA) | Report this review (#953198)
Posted Friday, May 03, 2013 | Review Permalink

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