KAIPA - Children Of The Sounds

Kaipa - Children Of The Sounds

5 songs
58:04 minutes
***** ***


The history of Swedish progressive rock band Kaipa goes back to the early Seventies. A debut album came out in the mid-Seventies. Back then the band was led by keyboarder Hans Lundin and the young Roine Stolt, who later left the band to found the well-known Flower Kings. Lundin went on to release with Kaipa five albums, ending it all in 1982. Twenty years later he came back with Stolt and now band members to reunite Kaipa, and once again they released three albums together. Stolt left again, but a replacement was soon found, and the band has had a stable line-up since then, making Children Of The Sounds their eighth album since their comeback. Coming three years after its predecessor Sattyg, it is also the band’s shortest reunion album yet, making it their only one under one hour, and frankly, do prog rock albums always have to be eighty minutes long? I don’t think so.

Children Of The Sounds begins with its eleven-minute long title track, showing from the start that Kaipa never needed the serious gravitas of many other progressive rock bands. This is, despite its generous length, a very light-hearted piece of music with a very positive message. In fact, a lot of the lyrics have a pastoral touch, not surprising considering that much of the inspiration came to Lundin during extensive bicycle rides through rural Sweden. The vocals are shared by songwriter Aleena Gibson (née Anna-Lena Högdahl) who worked already with lots of famous pop stars, and Ritual vocalist Patrik Lundström. While I rather like his wholesome Swedish performance, Ms Gibson at times tries too hard to sound like Bonnie Tyler, which is at times grating for my ears. The other band members are also no unknowns. On bass we find the omnipresent Jonas Reingold (Flower Kings, Karmakanik), on drums Morgan Ågren (Mats/Morgan Band) and finally on guitar Per Nilsson who is also a member of melodic death metal band Scar Symmetry, and it’s his dynamic performance that makes for a healthy counterpoint to the otherwise sometimes hippy atmosphere.

Second track on the album is the seventeen-minute epic On The Edge Of New Horizons, which is a less catchy piece that still allows you to discover many nuances during its more than quarter hour long running time. Like A Serpentine makes it to thirteen minutes and is something like a tribute to the Beatles, actually quoting occasionally parts of the Fab Four’s songs. The last two tracks, The Shadowy Sunlight and What’s Behind The Fields, are comparatively short, as neither makes it over ten minutes, but both still carry on Kaipa’s classic prog rock sound, especially the latter is a song in the vein of the aforementioned mammoth track.

I dare say that Children Of The Sounds is so far one of Kaipa’s most accessible albums. At five songs, it is easy to keep track of everything, and with the happy title track and Beatles tribute, the band shows that progressive rock can also work in a less grave setting. Next year, Hans Lundin will be seventy years old, but he looks still more dynamic than many younger musicians. Let’s hope that Kaipa will have some more aces up its sleeves.

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