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


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

3.25 | 79 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars Hmm, a compilation album. I never bought the previous one, Scanning The Greenhouse, because I figured what's the point? I have all the studio and live material, what can a compilation possibly offer me? Well, for one thing, great liner notes giving insights and details about each song, including in many cases what was added during the remastering. There are different guitar solos, different vocals, added percussion and keyboard parts, and even in one case (Different People) things were taken away!

Reading about all this made me curious, and as a die hard fan of this band I felt I had to get it. In some ways, this seems like the least likely thing for me to want to buy, containing as it does some of my least favorite Flower Kings songs. But I was interested in the one unreleased track, having a good sounding version of Cinema Show (only have it on a CDR of their first fan club release), and hearing some Retropolis and Stardust material remastered.

Overall, I'm glad I got it. It is an interesting sequencing of tracks, and some of them I like a lot better now (Cosmic Lover, Painter). Others I felt lose a something, like the Stupid Girl, which sounds a lot better but loses it's most interesting feature........the fast Zappaesque part at the end; and Church Of Your Heart, which is cut by some 3 minutes. But songs like The Road Back Home, Rhythm of the Sea, and Compassion sound magnificent with their now pristine production (though they seemed well produced on the original releases, it's obvious that Roine has much better equipment now). Also, The Flower King and Stardust We Are (PT.3), which I had on the no longer available Edition Limitée Québec 1998 CD, sound whole lot better than they do on that. I was a little disappointed that the unreleased track, Little Deceiver, isn't really all that great (and probably would have been just as well left unreleased), but on the whole this is a decent compilation.

However, I'm not exactly sure what they are gong for with this. It will be of interest to the die hard fan, and I suppose could be a tame introduction to someone not into prog. But if the latter people like it, will they really be thrilled to discover the less accessible material like Garden Of Dreams and The Truth Will Set You Free? Somehow, I don't think so.

But in any case, this is nice compilation to have and could appeal to those who feel the Flower Kings are too excessive with their more proggy material. I'm tempted to give this 2 stars, but that would imply that only existing fans would like it, which I think (and hope) is not the case. So I'll go with 3 stars, but keep in mind it IS after all, a compilation of less proggy stuff that has is mostly available in other forms (which include the far more interesting proggy stuff).

infandous | 3/5 |


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