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The Flower Kings - The Rainmaker CD (album) cover

THE RAINMAKER

The Flower Kings

 

Symphonic Prog

3.47 | 334 ratings

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Moatilliatta
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I think this one is a bit underrated. While not being able to contend with the releases that surround it, Space Revolver and Unfold the Future, it is still a great, albeit inconsistent release. We may run into issues of filler tracks, but the bulk of this record is top-notch Flower Kings. The band have settled down a bit and developed a sound with less bombast and more atmosphere. While the band would culminate in the fusing of their bombast and experimentalism with thick atmosphere on the next album, this one still serves us a huge platter of brilliance. The 4 longer tracks are the highlights, and since they take up almost 50 minutes of the disc, it's already worth having. "Last Minute on Earth" and "Road to Sanctuary" are hard rockin' pieces, of course containing many hooks and stylistic shifts, with some moments of beauty, while "City of Angels" and "Serious Dreamers" are more balladesque, still containing many shifts and hooks. These four songs contain some of the most memorable passages in the band's discography. Even the weaker tracks are enjoyable; "World Without a Heart" is peppered with some tasty slide guitars, fretless bass lines and good melodies and "Elaine" is brought to a close with a funky jazz passage featuring the saxophones of Ulf Wallander. Don't let the intro lyric of that song "here she comes again smiling like a horse" give you the wrong impression! It sounds laughable, and while I admittedly have laughed at some of their lyrics, the band was trying to create a laughable image! I think that is crucial to the point of the song.

That atmospheric element I spoke of earlier really comes out in the album's instrumentals. The band decided not to dish out another wild and wacky number like "Rumble Fish Twist," but instead decided to try out a brooding highly atmosphere-oriented piece in "The Rainmaker." It's not even like the end of the aforementioned piece. This one has a theme, which is above a slowly building background with some soloing until the throbbing rhythm takes over and the band begins to create soundscapes for the remainder of the track. Toward the end of the album we also have "Blessing of a Smile," which is another ambient piece with some soloing and that is followed by "Red Alert," which is a short, peppy recount of some melodies from earlier in the album.

The second half of the album lacks some direction, but luckily we are treated to a great closer, and there are enough moments in between to keep your attention. The Rainmaker is no start-to-finish masterpiece, but there are a handful of masterpieces within the album. And truth be told, it's more consistent than most of the records that preceded it.

Moatilliatta | 4/5 |

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