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Kaipa - In the Wake of Evolution CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.83 | 411 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Mostly Yes

With Roine Stolt once again out of the picture and Per Nilsson installed as lead guitarist, the 2007 album "Angling Feelings" indicated that this time around there would be life for Kaipa without Roine. Three years later, the line up which made that album returned unchanged with this the band's 10th official studio album. Hans Lundin takes charge of all the song-writing, and makes a point of wearing his influences on his sleeve. Naturally, there are similarities with other Swedish prog bands, but it is Yes who come through most; more so than even Stolt era Kaipa.

The Yes nuances are exclusively instrumental and lyrical ("Closer to the edge"!?) though, the vocals being decidedly un-Yes like. The duel female/male lead voices of Aleena Gibson and Patrik Lundström are a bit of an acquired taste in symphonic prog terms, the closest comparison probably being bands like Mostly Autumn. The song structures though are intricate and convoluted in the best traditions of this style of prog, Per Nilsson's lead guitar playing being admirably Howe like.

At over 17 minutes, "Electric Power Water Notes" is the longest of the tracks. Here it seems to me the band try just too hard to be complicated, falling into the same trap which affects The Flower Kings by mixing things up without a clear direction. The track is a good listen, but it could have been tightened up considerably.

Occasionally, such as on "In The Heart Of Her Own Magic Field", Kaipa will move into more orthodox areas in order to give Gibson the chance to deliver something which puts the emphasis firmly on her vocals. The folk influences which have always run parallel with the band's main sound are still present, emphasised through the recorders of guest musician Fredrik Lindqvist, which opens several of the tracks.

It is hard to say exactly what it is that causes me to have reservations about this album. Perhaps it is the vocals of Patrik Lundström, which I find to be lacking in melody. Perhaps it is the feeling that the music does not feel inspired, but rather takes its form from well used templates. I certainly would not presume to advise any admirers of Kaipa or symphonic prog to pass the album by. For me though, while I appreciate the contents, they do not make me want to play the album on a regular basis.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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