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The Flower Kings - Stardust We Are CD (album) cover


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

3.93 | 549 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars It's almost TOO easy for a progster to get into this. Think about it; what other band could mine the best qualities of prog rock and win over many hearts? We have Gilmour's voice, Latimer's solos, Emerson's tricky keyboard lines, Squire's bass sound, odd time signature, mellotrons, Hammond, twenty-minute epics, etc. So, how come I don't get it?

The Flower Kings are a technical listening band in the sense that you've really got to sit down and pay strict attention to all of the musical changes in order to get it. The compositions are complex, but are so clogged with theme after theme that it's really hard for me to follow along. I prefer the occasional laidback jam type of thing, but STARDUST WE ARE really doesn't give me that. Plus, there are just too many filler tracks that don't add anything to the album from the unusual under-two-minute ditties to the awful poppy songs like ''Kingdom of Lies''.

Restraint is not here at all. Many songs simply go far too long and seem to be extended merely to look very prog. The fiddling at the end of ''Compassion'' is unnecessary; ''In the Eyes of the World'', ''Just This Once'' and the title epic run out of ideas about two to six minutes before they're over and make me impatient when I listen to the tracks as a whole. And I was never moved by either ''End of Innocence'' or ''Church of Your Heart''.

The lyrics are so corny that they're laughable. It doesn't help that both vocalists overdramatise the words to the point of utter annoyance. Stolt's vocals aren't that great, but when a comfortable range he's okay. Froberg has more power but unfortunately can sound like Steve Perry (Journey) at times. Which is why I prefer parts of ''Circus Brimstone'' (slightly too long) and ''Don of the Universe''.

I enjoy the weirder, harder-to-understand stuff in the prog rock world, and I really think this album is too much of what to expect in prog rock. There aren't any surprise or challenges other than sitting through BOTH discs in one sitting. If you want to keep your prog experience fresh, head for the RIO and Cantebury bands. If you want the same prog rock over and over again, this is more than satisfactory.

Sinusoid | 2/5 |


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