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The Flower Kings - The Rainmaker CD (album) cover

THE RAINMAKER

The Flower Kings

 

Symphonic Prog

3.48 | 337 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
3 stars WELCOME BACK IN THE WORLD OF GOOD MUSIC

There are apparently mixed feelings about this band. Some people ranking them in the top of the current progressive music, while others are just bored listening to their long albums and justifying their meaning telling that TFK just repeats what has been previously already done.

I categorized myself probably in between those two options. I like very much their very pleasant symphonic music ("Big Puzzle", "There is More to This World" etc.) but dislike at times their too sophisticated (pretentious ?) approach during some lenghty pieces of music ("The Garden Of Dreams"). I guess that you got the picture.

TFK will again pleases their fans with "The Rainmaker". This album will almost fill the maximum CD lenght with 77 minutes of music. I could not really entered within their last works ("Flower Power" and "Alive..."), so let's hear about this one.

First, the long songs.

The opener "Last Minute on Earth" is made of three disctinct parts that are coming back during the song. It is a mix of their nice and melodic sound fully "Yes" oriented, we'll get the usual scrary an repetitive riff from Crimson (the most interesting part here), and something less evident for TFK : we'll get a hard rocking portion which might have been played by Purple. But I must say that all these elements fit well together and this song belongs to the good ones from their production.

"Road to Sanctuary" is a bit more difficult. Loads of heavy keyboards. The long instrumental intro is it is fully ELP and Yes oriented. It sounds a bit harder than a classic TFK song. Rather complex drumming at times. This song will feature nice vocal harmonies as well as good instrumental breaks (especially guitar of course, but not only). All in all a very pleasant track again. A bit too long, maybe.

"City of Angels" is more in the tradition of a true TFK song and therefore pleases me a lot. A bit jazzy and mellow in the first third, it will be pure symphony with a very catchy guitar break (very subtle and quiet) mixed with good background keys. A simple but effective TFK song. One of my favourite on this album.

The closing number "Serious Dreamer" is another beautiful song fully in the vein of their most symphonic work. No need to mention that I appreciate it a lot. A good manner to end this good album.

The short ones :

"World Without a Heart" and "Elaine" are very similar.They are beautiful rock ballads. I have always liked Roine's voice (but don't ask me why), so I really like these sweet pieces of music. Pleasant and soft breaks. "Elaine" will feature an interesting jazzy finale (again, very soft which explains that I like it).

"The Rainmaker" is fully Bolero inspired. It is not the first time that a rock band is using this theme. The two ones I can remember of on the fly are the ones from Crimson and ELP. Two bands that have influenced TFK a lot in their work. No wonder then that they also do an attempt. When compared to the other two, I rank this one in the middle : before ELP but after Crimson.

"Thru the Walls" is my least prefered song so far. A bit dull and uninspired. The heavy mood of "Sword Of God" is not really appealing to my ears either. Another weak one. "Blessing of A Smile" is another instrumental break but nothing great; as the very short "Red Alert"

This album is of course not an essential work. I still believe that "Retropolis" and "Stardust" are their best ones so far. This album coming slightly after in my taste (along with "Back In The World...", their debut album). I believe that if some songs would have been deleted from the tracklist (the quatuor from "Thru..." till "Red Alert"), this album would still have clocked at 62 minutes (which is a very decent lenght, IMO) and I would have rated with four stars.

As such, three stars but a nice come back from this good band.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |

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