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Roine Stolt - The Lonely Heartbeat CD (album) cover


Roine Stolt


Symphonic Prog

2.07 | 19 ratings

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2 stars I listen to this album almost at the same time with "Fantasia" which I posted yesterday. I jst need to ask: What rating means to you? I need to ask you this for clarity of how the ratings that I have given you so far through this wonderful site have worked well for you. My chief intent of giving rating is in the same spirit with progarchives guidelines: it helps you determine your purchasing decision on an album. I just need to emphasize this right here because what I am giving you with this review is my opinion about this pre-debut album of Roine Stolt solo album. I say it pre-debut because I have insofar considered that "The Flower King" was his true debut album while the two albums prior to debut "Fantasia" and "The Lonely Heartbeat" were something to do with his previous work with his band Fantasia prior to the debut and The Flower Kings (with "s") band. Back to the issue about rating, please don't get me wrong if I give a two star rating with this album, it is not intended to demean the musicality of this album. It comes back to your chief reason of having this album. If you have been a die hard fan of The Flower Kings, I recommend you to have it. But if you are newbie, please do not start with this.

As I have known the band and Roine Stolt quite sometime ago, it's about time to look back on how it started all. I believe that this release would not be possible if he and the Flower Kings are not as famous as now. But, looking back on how it sounded like at first inception is quite important to me so that I could understand how the talent has grown until today.

It starts with an exploration of alto sax with ambient mood in "Early morning Manhattan" followed with "Mister sunshine" in an acapella singing style followed with a nice stream of music in upbeat music. In a way it reminds me to Dire Straits "Money For Nothing" (a rock hit of 80s). It has elements that later form the foundation of The Flower Kings music. In fact "Hotel Paradox" title track is in similar vein with this. "Goodbye blue Monday" is an R&B track with brass section. "White man of N.Y.C." is a very nice jazz music and practically no components of prog at all. The guitar work and melody of the song are really good. My daughter called this music is similar with Michael Buble's (her favorite singer). "Burning bridges" is another disco track with Stanley Clark bass playing style. "Crawl like an anima" lends the riffs something similar to Yes' "Owner of a Lonely Heart". "I Still Believe" is another R&B with nice guitar fills. "Strange in my own house" is a nice blues outfit that is easy to digest, textured beautifully by guitar work and excellent singing style. "The Lonely Heartbeat" has stunning guitar work.

As I go through the music, most of them have intense R&B and pop components that make me hard to believe that finally Roine found himself fit when he formed The Flower Kings. But before that, he made a wonderful "The Flower King" (without "s") album. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 2/5 |


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