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The Flower Kings - Stardust We Are CD (album) cover

STARDUST WE ARE

The Flower Kings

 

Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 446 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
4 stars After releasing a masterpiece like Retropolis nobody would expect the band to put out a double studio album in such a short time. Nevertheless, here it was, a massive collection of songs, over two hours long. Had the group chose a single CD format, this would rival Retropolis as their best ever release. Don´t get me wrong, Stardust We Are is not a bad album at all. But it seems that Roine Stolt and co had too many good (and sometimes, long) songs to fit even in a 80 minute standard album. So, in the process, they may have recorded everything they had written at the time. Certainly there was no fear of lacking inspiration from their main composerr. One thing that always amazes me after all these years is Stolt´s hability to write so complex, intricated music in such quantity. He must live and breath music all day and night.

Anyway, back to Stardust We Are: there are plenty of great songs in this album. Certainly Roine Stolt was at his prime around the time. Yet the CD is too long and too varied to hold your attention in just one listen, or even maybe two. The presence of some fillers also does not help either, but if you listen carefully you´ll be rewarded with a fantastic pallette of different prog styles and even some experimentation never seen before or even after this release (Compassion is a good exemple). There is something for everyone in this album. So it´s no wonder the group won much of their fame after putting out this CD.

There was some personel.changes too. After guesting on some tracks of The Flower King and Retropolis, singer Hans Frôberg enters the picture as a full time member. While Stolt still handles most of the lead vocals himself, Frôberg´s inclusion was a big plus, since his high pitch, emtional voice brought an excellent contrast to Stolt´s lower register. So, officially, , this is the the first album to feature the ´classic´ Flower King´s line up we all love. Including the apearance of Ulf Wallander on sax on some tracks, as he did on many TFK best works.

I still think this would be a killer CD if they picked up the best tunes and kept to a single album format. Instead this is `only`an excellent work. Essential? Yes! It may take a little time to fully appreciate such a massive amount of music (many spins). But most of what you´ll find here is very worth it. Maybe the group is too talented and flexible for their own (comercial) good. Yet Stardust We Are stands out as a worthy successor for such hard acts to follow as the 3 previous ones (specially Retropolis). Highly recommended to any prog lover. But if you´re new to the group, start with any of the previous, single CD ones.

Tarcisio Moura | 4/5 |

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