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Kaipa - Kaipa CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.90 | 251 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
4 stars Though it's been a few years since I first heard this prehistoric disk, I am only just getting around to my assessment because this is the best Christmas album never made, and I generally associate it with this time of year. KAIPA's debut splays its crystalline and undoubtedly folk based melodies across the frozen Scandinavian tundra like a progressive Nordic Jingle Bells. The tinny production oddly comforts, and brings optimistic daylight to hearts and minds so deprived at this time of year in higher latitudes.

I am not presently familiar with the expansive canon of these Swedish legends whose career was bolstered by the success of their guitar prodigy ROINE STOLT. Similarities to the giants of their era abound - CAMEL and YES particularly, and somewhere between the two in complexity, and FOCUS here and there. The organs scintillate and the guitars and enthusiastic voices pine. I even hear some BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST in young Stolt's guitar work on the ambitious "SevarMorgon Gry". "Ankaret" is probably the highlight among many, as it intersperses the above with slightly more threatening bass lines. "Skogspromenade" is a short instrumental with another succinct tune that you won't easily forget.

While KAIPA's music might not appeal to fans of "sophisticated" and complex prog, and the Swedish lyrics are ostensibly beyond mundane, their debut is a winner, a uniformly well played and enthusiastic epitome of symphonic prog circa 1975. Highly recommended.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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