Kaipa – Urskog
I once read a review where the writer stated how the music from Kaipa always made him happy.
That was a review for the album “In the Wake of Evolution” from 2010. I got interested, checked out the album and I totally understood what he meant and shared his opinion. The CD has now been in my possession for twelve years. Funny how I still remember this reviewer’s words.
Although I played the album many times, my focus on the band was lost until I got my hands on the promo for the new album “Urskog”. With a little searching I found out that I missed three albums in between.
The first thing I was wondering about was how much Kaipa had changed in 12 years. Well, I can say that it is not much. The vocalists are still the same and after more than a decade they are still sounding young. The happy and uplifting keyboards keep cheering up the songs and the lengthy songs with long instrumental parts are still there. Only drummer Morgan Ågren is replaced by Darby Todd.
The album starts right away with the longest track. ‘The Frozen Dead Of The Night’ almost reaches 19 minutes. It’s a real epic that starts quite calmly with vocals from Patrik Lundström and a breeze of instrumentals that develops into a small whirlwind, but never becomes a storm. Lots of duo singing with Aleena Gibson, but also switching into their solo vocal parts. This song could be a bit shorter if some fiddling instrumental parts would have been skipped. But that probably is my weird taste and I’m sure that what I see as fiddling around, other progressive rock lovers will just enjoy.
The album contains five other songs and with a total length of 1 hour and 7 minutes you know there will be no short tracks.
‘In A World Of Pines’ is more than 10 minutes long, with the standard Kaipa build up. Here we hear a bigger role for Aleena. She sings a lot with a high voice, where sometimes I’m afraid she won’t reach the extra high ones, but she manages it every time, but you hear she needs to put effort in. Especially at the end.
Title song ‘Urskog’ starts with cello and violins. From a box or real, I never hear the difference, but I do like it. Very instrumental and some vocal parts in their native language. That’s a nice touch, especially because it’s in lovely Swedish.
Kaipa – Urskog (click here if the video doesn’t play)
‘Wilderness Excursion’ is completely instrumental and where I at times dislike the too long fiddling parts in the other songs, it seems more balanced here, less stressful and more at ease.
Shortest song of the album ‘In The Wastelands Of My Mind’ has lots of room for violins, which I think here is surely real. But don’t trust my opinion on this. Lots of high notes, as we see throughout the entire album.
I assumed that starting with the 19 minute epic, Kaipa directly gave away their best song of the album. Isn’t the longest one always seen as the showpiece? I think the best song should (almost) always be kept for last. Apparently Kaipa thinks the same, because with ‘The Bitter Setting Sun’ the album gets a smashing ending.
An instant classic if you ask me. Lots of keyboards and synthesizer tunes. Delicious vocal lines and finger licking good drumming. Some little reggae tunes and then suddenly this saxophone player steps in who brings me back to eighties pop music. New music that makes me feel melancholic, I have nothing more to wish for. This is the most uplifting song of the album and I think it lifts the overall rating.
In the end I’m torn between two thoughts about this album. On the one hand there is too little renewal to be found, the album is sounding too much as the band did in 2010 and with all the skills these very skilled artists have, I expected more. On the other hand there is once again so much to enjoy, so much excellent craftsmanship, which I think you don’t want to miss out on. So maybe I shouldn’t moan about the lack of renewal and just enjoy all the beauty that Kaipa once again brings us.
- The Frozen Dead Of The Night (18:52)
- In A World Of Pines (10:04)
- Urskog (07:57)
- Wilderness Excursion (08:57)
- In The Wastelands Of My Mind (06:13)
- The Bitter Setting Sun (15:20)