Kaipa - 'Children Of The Sounds'

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Kaipa - 'Children Of The Sounds'

A very pleasing collection of songs.

Kaipa have been around since 1973 and arguably were Sweden's original Prog band. They've produced thirteen albums and been through a number of iterations despite a twenty year break in production.

Regardless of being sung in Swedish, I like their early albums but have found the edge taken off my enjoyment of some of their more recent output by the shrillness of Aleena Gibson's voice, however, I'm delighted to report for this release that particular aspect has been reined in, or her voice doubled with that of Patrik Lundström's, thus making this a very pleasing collection of songs. I also detect a subtle change musically with a slightly more modern instrumental palette, plus some guitar work that puts me in mind of Saga – no bad thing in my book.

The album comprises of just five tracks which vary in length between seven and seventeen minutes and every one is a winner. The title track opens proceedings in fine style with a simple synth wash and voices before all the instruments kick in. Not surprisingly, as the band was where a certain Roine Stolt cut his teeth, there are elements of The Flower Kings and the presence of the inimitable Jonas Reingold on bass reinforces that feel at times. Per Nilsson's guitar work is fabulous throughout and the sharing of the vocal lead is well thought out. Hans Lundin's lead synth had me fooled initially as it sounds not unlike guitar. The vocal melody really got into my head.

The longest track, 'On The Edge Of New Horizons', is up next and has a touch of Yes about its intro before a section where that particular Saga guitar sound emerges. When the vocals arrive, there's a certain Jazzy element to the delivery and the unusually heavy bits bring a Jazzy Dream Theater to mind.

'Like A Serpentine' features more superb guitar and synth soloing as it weaves between laid back and heavier sections. In the same way as The Flower Kings, they keep delivering great melodies and refrains. 'The Shadowy Sunlight' opens with a tasteful violin refrain from Elin Rubinsztein which brings a Folky feel to the early part, it gets darker thereafter.

'What's Behind The Fields' closes out the album and is heralded in by a blast of Hammond Organ and yet more spectacular guitar. Again, it's a track that flows between different sections, just as we Prog-heads like it.

Gary Marshall

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