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The Flower Kings - Flower Power CD (album) cover


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

3.95 | 495 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars An imperfect album. It contains what I still consider the finest piece of music by the Flower Kings (or any other prog band for that matter), Garden Of Dreams. For me, 60 minutes well utilized. I love all of it. I was initially disappointed when I heard it live, because they cut out a few sections and shortened it to 45 minutes. I now understand that the atmospheric middle sections would kill the momentum of the performance and loose peoples attention. But for me, I love those sections and think they fit the entire theme and concept of the piece beautifully. The first half of the song is definitely the most effective though, and certainly the most musically interesting and exciting. But what a great finale at the end! Excellent piece through and through, and a masterpiece without a doubt. To those who say this is just a bunch of different songs strung together I say bah!!!! Well, I suppose I could see how you might get that impression. However, there are musical (in particular) and lyrical themes that run through the entire thing. I think all of it fits together seamlessly. The piece is largely the work of Tomas Bodin and represents his biggest contribution to the writing of any Flower Kings album (the song is based almost entirely around the first 7 minutes which was written by Bodin........he and Roine then proceeded to flesh it out with more material developed off of the original tune with Roine writing all the lyrics).

Of the final 3 tracks on CD1, only Astral Dog is a real song, with Captain Capstan being filler (the only time I really felt like that was an appropriate term for a track on a FK album) and IKEA at Night being really just a 5 second drum intro to Astral Dog, which is an excellent Zappa-like guitar solo piece. This one was apparently created by taking a Jamie Salazar drum track from Roine's Hydrophonia solo album and putting completely different music over it to create a drum part quite different from what Salazar would normally have done. It works fantastically I must say.

CD2, on the other hand, is still what I consider the weakest CD of Flower Kings material, possibly only Adam & Eve being weaker in my view. I have grown to appreciate some of it over the years though. The opening track is classic Flower Kings, a very powerful and well written piece that really should be done live at some point. Very good track. The next 5 tracks are decent, if a bit ordinary (though Stupid Girl is not really borders on cheesy, but is redeemed by an excellent Zappa style ending), with Psychedelic Postcard probably being the best of the bunch. The final 4 tracks are somewhat weak, IMO. Magic Pie I just don't like at all, being both derivative and cheesy to my ears. Painter is okay, but just seems rather bland compared to most Flower Kings material (this song takes on new life in it's remixed form on The Road Back Home compilation). Calling Home starts very promisingly, with a very dramatic and symphonic opening with great vocals by Froberg, but seems to loose focus part way through and becomes rather aimless by the end. Afterlife is a nice coda to the album, but by this point (after over two hours of music and a fairly weak second CD) seems almost like an anti climax.

Garden Of Dreams makes me want to award 5 stars, but since I must consider the album as a whole, I would have to say more like a 3.75 rating, rounded up to 4 (5 stars for CD1, and 2.5 or so for CD2). Still very much essential to any Flower Kings fan though.

infandous | 4/5 |


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