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The Flower Kings - Scanning The Greenhouse CD (album) cover


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

3.47 | 50 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
3 stars I only know the Flower Kings from this single CD that was recommended to me as a good retrospective, and from the fact that Roine Stolt was in a group called Kaipa that went all the way back to the 1970s. While I do not dislike this compilation, it has not yet inspired me to seek out more original TFK albums.

In many ways, TFK epitomize not only what is wrong with prog rock, - bloated material, 3 minutes expanded out to 12 with all manner of doodling - but also what is wrong with so much neo prog, that being the nearly incessant high energy that leaves the listener with something akin to a sugar bust before the first "epic" is half over.

Yet what saves their material from the shredder is that they at least do have the sense of what makes a good 3 minute song. The group has a stirring grasp of melody, and in some songs do better service to it than others, the best being the beautiful and related "Pipes of Peace" and "Stardust we Are". The inclusion of "Compassion", which might be disputed by some, shows that TFK have some degree of versatility in their moods, and hopefully this was an angle they pursued more on their proper albums. With these fine tracks as anchor, the remaining works can be looked upon more favourably, distilled to their essence, and allowing for the fact that the musicians do seem to be having fun.

So after a number of scans I conclude that the Flower Kings' compilation is good but nothing that will make them heir to any throne.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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