Customer Reviews


10 Reviews
5 star:
 (5)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome classic prog.
What year is it again? Right, 2002. It's been a long time since the original progressive rock renaissance was kicked off by innovators like Yes, King Crimson, ELP, and Genesis. And yet, listening to Kaipa's Notes from the Past, you could very easily think you've stepped through a time warp. This album's sound is vintage! Still, it goes to show that a magical band can come...
Published on July 9, 2002 by Lord Chimp

versus
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars
This 2002 recording by Sweden's Kaipa is somewhat misleading in that the only two Kaipa members present are the Flower Kings' Roine Stolt and keyboardist, composer, Hans Lundin. Bassist Jonas Reingold, also of the Flower Kings, is present as well. Carrying on in Kaipa tradition is the use of absolutely horrid vocalists. The majority of the singing here is by Patrick...
Published on June 10, 2002


Most Helpful First | Newest First

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome classic prog., July 9, 2002
By 
This review is from: Notes From the Past (Audio CD)
What year is it again? Right, 2002. It's been a long time since the original progressive rock renaissance was kicked off by innovators like Yes, King Crimson, ELP, and Genesis. And yet, listening to Kaipa's Notes from the Past, you could very easily think you've stepped through a time warp. This album's sound is vintage! Still, it goes to show that a magical band can come along and work with the classical sound in wonderful ways that make everything old seem new again. You _must_ have this album if you like the classic keyboard-heavy prog sound, but if you hate walls of 'tron and Hammond organs...RUN AWAY!
Headed by keyboardist Hans Lundin, Kaipa is a Swedish band that released a few albums in the 70s. Guitarist Roine Stolt was also a member of this band, and now many know him as the head honcho behind The Flower Kings. Notes from the Past is the first album released under the Kaipa name since the early 1980s. Even though the progressive rock genre has been through a lot of changes since the 70s, this is a great record independent of musical epochs.
For those interested in Roine Stolt's involvement, it should be noted that everything was written by Lundin. Stolt's voice here is his guitar playing, which is surprisingly vibrant and exciting. His creativity is endless. On this album, he cuts loose with some of his most exciting playing ("The Name Belongs to You") and some of his best textural playing (virtually instrumental section). The vocals of Patrik Lundstrom are excellent, a bit like Stolt himself actually but with a duller accent and simply a more powerful voice.
"Morganism" is one of my favorite prog instrumentals. It apparently gets its name from Morgan Argen, the drummer, known for playing with Zappa and Mats & Morgan. It's an awesomely groovy instrumental (and huge, close to 11 minutes), blending funk, big band, jazz, and disco-rock. The best is the end, marked by an aggressive drum solo with a slow, eerie background for a strange effect. All of the drumming is excellent, actually, definitely approaching alien-octopus levels but always tasteful. "A Road In My Mind" precedes this track, featuring female vocalist Aleena. Although she perhaps tries to sound too much like a rock star, it's hard not to like the song with its beautiful acoustic guitars and vocal & synth melodies.
The album's selection of great melodies are apparently limitless. Very singable choruses ("Mirrors of Yesterday", "Leaving the Horizon") are combined with appetizing instrumental hooks with makes the album entertaining through and through. And I'm astonished that the album seems so short. At 79 minutes, it's actually quite long CD-wise, but it seems over much sooner.
The only thing on the album I don't care for is "In the Space of a Twinkle", which is spacey musak ruined by some lady's robotic narration. Still, given that the song is only 3 1/2 minutes out of a 79 minute album, and most of it is music anyway, it's a very small complaint.
Instead of whipping up a conclusion paragraph, I'll take the lazy way out and refer you back to the final sentence of the first paragraph. An expedient use of time!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars, June 10, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Notes From the Past (Audio CD)
This 2002 recording by Sweden's Kaipa is somewhat misleading in that the only two Kaipa members present are the Flower Kings' Roine Stolt and keyboardist, composer, Hans Lundin. Bassist Jonas Reingold, also of the Flower Kings, is present as well. Carrying on in Kaipa tradition is the use of absolutely horrid vocalists. The majority of the singing here is by Patrick Lundstrom. This guy over-emotes at every turn. He comes across more like a refugee from a bad Andrew Lloyd Weber production (is there any other kind). He really spoils things but doesn't manage to ruin them. The two female vocalists (one cut each) are no better. The compositions and musicianship are terrific but it is no small task getting past the vocals and embarrasingly weak lyrics. Thankfully there are a number of instrumental cuts. Proceed with caution...Simon
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Notes is your father's Kaipa, December 15, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Notes From the Past (MP3 Music)
This is an album for the hardcore Kaipa fan. I own all of their 21st century releases, and this one is somewhat different. The newer Kaipa tends to be very "vocalist oriented" and often very uptempo. This one, apparently done in 2002 during the Roine era, is much more mellow. The female vocalist, so apparent is their later releases, is an afterthought on this one.

So while this one was interesting to me, it is not among their best. I really liked Mirrors of Yesterday, and Leaving the Horizon. Being early in the album I was encouraged, but it drops off after those.

So again, this is for avid Kaipa fans. If you are just getting into Kaipa (and I am a big fan) I would suggest Keyholder, Angling Feelings or one of their more recent releases.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing album, June 17, 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Notes From the Past (Audio CD)
I buy only albums that I listen to them first and if I rate them 5 stars I buy the CD after... This album like others from the band is a must listen too for lovers of progressive rock in the Neo-Prog or Symphonic Prog genre!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Great Album, March 21, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Notes From the Past (Audio CD)
This is a great progressive rock album, this is a great band to get a more in depth on the progresive rock music and the virtuosity of the band members, great vocals!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steady Improvement As the Music Progresses, December 1, 2004
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Notes From the Past (Audio CD)
I bought this CD on the basis of Roine Stolt's participation, as virtually anything he gets involved with has a lot of merit and Notes From The Past is no exception. What strikes me is how other reviewers feel about the vocals. I had many of the same thoughts but also think that the strength of the music overcomes the weakness of the vocals.

The CD starts on a weak note with the first part of the title cut. As other reviewers have noted, Patrik Lundstrom's voice is simply not up to this kind of music. I make an exception to that on one cut as Lundstrom aces The Name Belongs To You.

But there is steady improvement as the music progresses and by the time Folke's Final Decision is finished, Notes From the Past has morphed from a middling prog-rock project into a full-blown progressive masterpiece. The Name Belongs To You is an astonishing tour de force. That is followed by a mind-blowing instrumental workout on Second Journey Inside the Green Glass.

A Road In My Mind features a haunting vocal by Aleena Lundin and a magnificent instrumental interlude showcasing the guitar prowess of Roine Stolt. The CD then winds down with Morganism, a long instumental which carries the listener on a ten-minute journey through a variety of sonic landscapes before closing with a very strong Part II of the title cut.

The Inside Out label on which this CD is issued has become one that can be depended on to sign quality acts. It has become to progressive rock what CTI once was for jazz: a near guarantee of quality. If you have strong proclivities toward progressive rock, then this Kaipa CD should be in your collection as Notes From The Past contains some of the best tunes modern prog has to offer.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Instruments great, vocals not so great, still worth having, February 4, 2004
By 
This review is from: Notes From the Past (Audio CD)
I first heard Kaipa on the Starstream prog rock internet radio station ([...] After hearing a bunch of wannabe-Marillion, wannabe-Genesis, wannabe-Yes, Kaipa's Morganism came on... and I was like, "what the f-...?" Awesome. The horn part of that song is strange, but not bad. And track 2, "Night-bike-ride (on Lilac Street)" plus Morganism are enough to make the album worth owning.
Weak spots: anywhere there are vocals. The melodies are OK, not great, and the singers aren't really suited to this material. Patrik has a very clear, crisp voice, and it sounds like he's had some serious voice training, but his style is just too dry and straightforward most of the time.
Fortunately, since this is prog-rock and not Celine Dion, it ain't all about the vocals, so in a song like "The Name Belongs to You" or "A Road in My Mind", the vocal parts are OK, and then there's plenty of strong instrumental work to balance it out.
In my opinion, Patrik and Aleena's vocals work much better on the following Kaipa album, "Keyholder". I suspect this has to do with the fact that on Notes from the Past they were basically brought in at the tail end of the recording process, and on Keyholder, Roine had more writing influence, as did (I'm guessing) Patrik and Aleena. In any event, the vocals work much better on Keyholder.
All that aside, there is still some cool stuff on this album, and if you can get past the inappropriate vocal stylings, you'll be rewarded with some really interesting and rockin' prog.
Oh yeah! High quality MP3 samples are available on [...] so you can hear for yourself.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best prog album of 2002, July 24, 2002
By 
This review is from: Notes From the Past (Audio CD)
Plain and simple... if you like classic prog, and dig bands like The Flower Kings and Spock's Beard, you'll DEFINITELY love Kaipa's Notes from the Edge. Featuring TFK's Roine Stolt on guitar (and some of his best work is found here), just about every song is well composed and memorable. The interplay between Stolt's guitars and Lundin's keys is incredible, and pushes this disc to the top of the prog heap. Especially good are "Second Journey Inside the Green Glass" which contains some GREAT guitar/keyboard runs, and "A Road in My Mind" which features beautiful female vocals that will send chills down your spine.
The only misstep is the questionable use of an ersatz horn section on the jazzy "Morganism", but the drum work on the rest of the tune makes up for its other shortcomings.
An excellent record from excellent musicians, and not a release that should be missed by prog fans.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The 'lady' mentioned in the other reviews, August 29, 2002
By 
Fred Lessing (Sintra, Portugal) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Notes From the Past (Audio CD)
First of all, I didn't really enjoy the album all that much. I do like keyboards, and I do like Flower Kings et al., but I also enjoy harmonical complexity. I find the tracks on the CD not to be developing anywhere, the lyrics are poor, the melodies are boring, and some of the songs just drag on pointlessly with identical repetitions of themes.
What I do enjoy is that it's a very personal album, and Mr Ludin's courage to have his daughter intervene on the album (she's the much-criticised 'lady' in the other reviews here) is laudable!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Relies far too heavily on stale clichés, April 9, 2008
By 
Jeffrey J.Park (Pennsylvania, USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Notes From the Past (Audio CD)
As a group, Kaipa has been part of the progressive rock scene for a while and released five albums during the 1975-1982 timeframe with a single blurb in 1993 (Stockholm Symphonie). My understanding is that the first three albums and Stockholm Symphonie are not bad, although I have not heard any of them. Of the original group, only Hans Lundin and Roine Stolt (of the Flower Kings) play on this 2002 release, so this is in no way a "revival" of the classic Kaipa lineup. My general impression of this album is that it builds upon the late 1970s stadium rock style and as such, fuses hard rock with aspects of classic progressive rock. Indeed, this group is (to my ears at least) stylistically closer to the American stadium rock groups like Kansas and Styx circa 1977 than Genesis, ELP, Yes or King Crimson circa 1973.

With respect to the musicians on Notes from the Past, the core is comprised of Hans Lundin (Hammond C3 organ, mellotron, synthesizers, piano and vocals) and Roine Stolt (electric and acoustic guitars), with guest musicians including Flower Kings bassist Jonas Reingold, Morgen Agren (drums), Ritual singer Patrik Lundstrom (lead vocals) and family members (of Hans) Aleena and Thorn Lundin providing additional vocals. The band members are all solid and there is some good ensemble work on the album.

Unfortunately, there are aspects of the music that did not sit too well with me. One complaint that I have is with the lead vocals (in English with a bit of an accent) - they are very contrived and "corporate" sounding (something along the lines of an excessively dramatic version of Journey lead singer Steve Perry). When combined with the weak lyrics, I found that the quality of the listening experience was lowered substantially - even in spite of the fact that instrumental passages dominate. In all fairness though, it may very well be the case that something was lost in the translation of the lyrics from Swedish to English.

I also have real (and perhaps more significant) issues with the fact that the entire approach to composition used on this album is essentially based upon a cobbled together patchwork of clichés taken from the classic English progressive rock style (soloing over an ostinato etc.) - clichés that the American stadium rock bands essentially drove into the ground by 1978. Even the approach of Roine Stolt on this album relies heavily on techniques lifted directly from the groundbreaking virtuoso progressive and jazz rock guitarists of the 1970s (right down to the exact tone and phrasing). His nearly complete avoidance of the acoustic and a preference for a hard-edged and distorted tone on the electric also spoiled the listening experience for me. In this regard, I really wish that Roine had simply backed off and that Hans had more of a voice. This is especially odd given that Hans wrote a significant proportion of the music.

While these guys do have a good grasp on melodies however, they strictly avoid harsh textures and odd chord structures (no whole tone harmonies here). Moreover, there is an overly processed and homogenized feel to the music. I think that this has a lot to do with the polite approach to composition, the de-emphasis of pronounced dynamic contrasts, the limited range of tone colors selected and the overly calculated ways in which this band attempts to sound "progressive". For me, the ultimate effect of this was an extremely dull listening experience - in fact, there were times when I found myself wondering aloud when the album was going to end (at 79:07, Notes from the Past is of double album length). Come to think of it, I don't ever recall feeling nearly this bored when listening to other double albums like The Lamb Lies down on Broadway (Genesis, 1974) or Tales from Topographic Oceans (Yes, 1973).

I think it is unfortunate that these guys have adopted such a formulaic approach and I see this group becoming trapped in an infinite loop of self-quotation - if it has not become so already. Fortunately, there are other groups out there that are taking risks, synthesizing a broad spectrum of musical styles and plugging away in the truly restless spirit of progressive rock. Most importantly however, these other groups have an ability to (Janus-like) glance backwards to the past for inspiration, while simultaneously looking ahead to the future. I just wish Kaipa would do the same.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Notes From the Past
Notes From the Past by Kaipa (Audio CD - 2004)
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.