Released: 2002, Inside Out
Kaipa is new to me! After a little digging I was surprised to learn that band was founded in Sweden in the mid-70’s and put out 5 LP’s (back in the vinyl day) before calling it quits in 1982. 20 years later founding members Hans Lundin (keys) and Ronnie Stolt (Guitar) reformed the band, and I’m very glad they did. The timing is perfect what with a global wave of prog-rock flooding the world’s musical shores. The reformation is well advised because it introduces the band to folks like me who were a bit young to be into obscure, progressive rock from Sweden, when I was five.
I have not heard the first five LP’s but I really like the new CD! As usual Inside Out’s commitment to quality shines through with a well produced CD, a very elaborate and well-appointed booklet and a long CD. As with most prog bands the compositions are long with seven of the eleven songs clocking in at six minutes or over and three tunes hit the 10+ plus “epic” mark. Other typical prog-rock/metal traits are here…. lots of keyboards, horns, chick vocals, Hammond organ, odd lyrics and bizarre song ideas like “Night Bike Ride (on Lilac Street)” , “In The Space of A Twinkle” and “Second Journey Inside The Green Glass”. I would not expect any less. The vocals are crystal clear and way up front in the mix but the drums sound quite flat. Maybe it is just because I listen to so much pounding metal but it seems the snare was set too tight and the toms were too high and too far back in the mix. The guitars are smooth and fluid and I especially like the solo on “Mirrors of Yesterday”. Musically the compositions are lush and full yet always retain a sense of song, never getting self-indulgent and pretentious enough to distract the listener from enjoying the flow of the song. Having said that, this IS prog music, it is very dense, textured, layered, whatever you want to call it and it does take some appreciation over time. This is not an immediate feel good listen kinda disc.
Check out the bands FANTASTIC web-site at http://www.kaipa.info.com
for all sorts of history, trivia and more.