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The Flower Kings - Back In The World Of Adventures CD (album) cover


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

4.03 | 592 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars This album grew on me over time. It is the first "full band" Flower Kings album (shown here as the first Flower Kings album proper, since the album The Flower King was a Roine Stolt solo album.........though I consider it the first Flower Kings album personally), and is Roine Stolts first attempt to make his Flower King project a true band.

Needless to say, he dominates the album, writing all music and lyrics and putting his excellent lead guitar to the fore. For me, every track is worthwhile, even the ones that many consider "filler". Personally, I always enjoy these so called "filler" tracks as I think they are very appropriate and well done atmospheric interludes. Prog does not need to be all about songs, I think, and such pieces help as a breather between the more involved songs. A sort of cleansing of the palette for the next proper song. With the Flower Kings this is often necessary due to the broad range of styles they like to use from song to song.....especially on the earlier albums. When I first acquired all the available Flower Kings albums after discovering them (shortly after the release of Flower Power), this album fell just ahead of CD 2 of Flower Power for me in my personal other words, next to last. Albums like Rainmaker and Adam & Eve have allowed this one to rise in the ranks so to speak, and given me more of an appreciation for it.

It contains three tracks I consider absolute classics for this band: the title track, Big Puzzle, and Theme For a Hero (probably still my favorite Flower Kings instrumental). The title track features fantastic mellotron, great lyrics and vocals by Stolt, and some very nice instrumental sections featuring Tomas Bodin's great keys for the first time. Big Puzzle is a mini epic of sorts, with a minor key, moody beginning, followed by more upbeat sections, then into a cosmic Yes-like synth and guitar only section (think the middle section of Close To The Edge but without any tempo from the keys), then out into another upbeat section and back to the beginning part to finish the song in dramatic fashion. The guitar solo that ends this is quite possibly my favorite ever from Roine, which is saying something (at least one of his top 10 solos, if nothing else). Theme for a hero is just a great instrumental, going through various sections and featuring great playing from all concerned. Vocals are not missed, as the song tells a great musical story filled with interesting melodies.

Of the rest of the songs, only My Cosmic Lover seems a bit weak to me, though it is a fun song in some ways, with it's danceable beat and lively melody. Go West Judas is probably one of the heaviest Flower Kings songs ever, with an almost brutal middle section featuring Stolt's excellent guitar playing. Atomic Prince/Kaleidoscope is a somewhat less interesting instrumental with a darker and more brooding approach, the Kaleidoscope section at the end being a pleasant, if somewhat nondescript, acoustic ditty. Train to Nowhere is a lovely power ballad type of song that has echoes of Pink Floyd, especially in the choruses. The jam that follows, Oblivion Road, is enjoyable to listen to though nothing particularly special. Finally, The Wonder Wheel is an almost ambient piece which I find delightful, but others probably would call "filler". To each his own I guess.

I like this album and still listen to it. Compared to their best albums, it probably is about a 3 star album, but on its own merits I give it 3.5 stars. Not the one to start with if you've never heard this band, but if you like already it is a must have.

infandous | 3/5 |


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