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The Flower Kings - The Road Back Home CD (album) cover


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

3.25 | 79 ratings

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3 stars Why buy a Flower Kings compilation if you already own all their official previous releases? Well my incentive was the chance to get their version of "Cinema Show", previously only available on a fan club release, one unreleased track "Little Deceiver" from "The Rainmaker" sessions and the chance to hear already available material re-mixed with in places new Guitar solo's, backing vocals and the odd lead Vocal.

This compilation consists of the bands shorter more commercial songs (although a few clock in around 8 minutes) and herein lies the problem. I love The Flower Kings for their long complex pieces which are in plentyfull supply over most of their albums, which intersperced with the likes of the contents of this compilation make for well rounded albums. On their own these shorter tracks, although in the main very good don't stand up quite so well.

So what about the re-mixes? To be honest in general they sound fine but I couldn't honestly put my hand on my heart and say they have been improved and in certain cases I wish they'd been left alone. This is imediately apparent on opener "Cosmic Lover" which seems to have lost a certain amout of the power of the original excellent mix, particularly in the Drums and Bass department which is rather ironic considering in the liner notes Roine states his intention was to clean up the track and let the bass and Drums do the talking.

On a more postitive note their version of "Cinema show" is very good and well worth hearing although generally speaking I'm not a lover of bands doing cover versions as they rarely are the equal of the originals but here The Flower Kings make a good stab at it.

"Little Deceiver", the one unreleased track present passes by unobtrusively and is fairly non-essential, as said previously, from "The Rainmaker" sessions which was one of the weaker releases from the band in my opinion.

Not wanting to sound too negative about one of my favourite bands though there are plenty of great songs on this 2cd set some of my favourites being "Chickenfarmer song" and "Church of your Heart". Although not a lover of "Paradox Hotel" it is well represented here by the inclusion of the upbeat "Life Will Kill You".

Overall then, a good compilation that completists will want to own. As for the uninitiated it will give a good taster of the band but is not trully representative of what the band are all about so for that reason I would choose to start elsewhere.

Nightfly | 3/5 |


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