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The Flower Kings - Retropolis CD (album) cover


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

3.74 | 622 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars Fragmented, but with some Great Tracks.

I actually disagree with those critics who claim this album shows The Flower Kings "paying tribute to the groups that brought them to do what they are doing" (François Couture of AllMusic) by purposefully writing retro-referencing pieces. While one can pick up hints of classic influences in all Flower Kings albums, they are not on display here at all. Indeed, overt references to older bands are much more prominent on the former album (Back in the World of Adventures) and the one that would follow (Stardust We Are) than this one. But for some reason, the idea that this is there 'retro' album has become ingrained, likely due merely to the album title. Instead, here the Flower Kings present a number of original new tunes. Some of them are truly great. The title instrumental track is sheer excellence (10/10!), although it takes multiple listens to get to know it (very dense). But it is very musical. "There is More to this World" is a great song, although I prefer the live versions to this one. "Silent Sorrow" and "Judas Kiss" are also very strong - up there with the best songs on the first two albums (including The Flower King). And the closer, "The Road Back Home", while not perfect, has tons of potential as a song (would have loved to hear an extended live version of this!). Why not 4 PA stars? The album is fragmented with tons of filler. In between the great songs, are short (and sometimes not-so-short) pieces of music that too often just get in the way. They interrupt the flow between the greats. One of my (and many others, it would seem) criticisms of The Flower Kings albums is that they can be too long. Well, on some albums all the tunes are great, so the length is not a problem (eg Unfold the Future, which is 150 minutes long, but good all the way through). This one, though, very clearly should have been shorter, with just the most musical pieces included. Saying this, the good tunes are great. I give this album 7.8 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which is just 0.1 shy of my criteria for 4 stars. So, high 3 PA stars.

Walkscore | 3/5 |


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