(29 May 2004) The third in the recent series of new albums from Kaipa is entitled Mindrevolutions (InsideOut Music (USA) IOMCD 208, 2005). The release celebrates the 30th anniversary of the very first Kaipa album released in 1975.
With roots deep in the Swedish folk tradition, including centuries old Swedish choral music, Mindrevolutions is a journey through a landscape coloured by a myriad of influences and says their label, "the final result is certainly timeless." Kaipa is as appealing to the aesthetic of today's progressive music scene as it was 30 years ago.
On Mindrevolutions vocals by Patrik Lundstrom and Aleena (feature) prove that dream can mesh with reality in a musical that spans ten new songs. The the title track is a 26-minute-long multi-part musical adventure. In addition to the two vocalists, the two original Kaipa members Hans Lundin (keyboards) and Roine Stolt (guitars) are accompanied by Morgan Agren (drums) and Jonas Reingold (bass). With dramatic instrumentals combined with plenty of vocal content, this album is one of the more dynamic incarnations in Kaipa's history.
Kaipa enthusiasts will find the album vocally intense, much moreso than either of the previous two albums: Keyholder and Notes From The Past. And the online commentary from fans about the change, especially the vocals, has been dramatic. Patrik's and Aleena's interwoven vocal parts have drawn from a West End- or Broadway-style musical theatre influence and some have found the vocal work completely overwhelming. While both vocalists have expressive solo parts, their evocative duets contribute to the overall texture of the album.
The album is strong instrumentally with arrangements giving way to fine progressive musings. Vocals set aside, both guitar and keyboard solos are notable throughout and the powerful rhythm section is neither overwhelming nor understated. The material gives way to some lovely melodies amongst the superb progressive production. The album is clearly best listened when played from beginning to end uninterrupted.
Aleena's vocal parts are significantly larger than on the two former albums with her solos demonstrating her vocal dexterity and strength above the progressive instrumental stylings. Those that enthuse over her vocals willl be most impressed with the albums. Aleena's voice works well with Patrik's throughout and we did not find ourselves searching to pull her parts out of the mix. Kaipa clearly are going from strength to strength. Watch for a reissue of their much earlier work later this year.