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The Flower Kings - Alive On Planet Earth CD (album) cover


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

3.80 | 123 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars When this first came out, it was the first FK release since my discovery of them. At the time, I was thrilled to get to hear them live for the first time. In retrospect, especially considering the wonderful Meet The Flower Kings and live shows I've seen, this really is not that great of a set. Apparently some in the band were not happy at all with the performances on CD2 as well. Still, it's not bad by any means, just not what I consider a good representation of the Flower Kings live. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that it is made up of recordings from 5 different shows. But how is the music?

The first CD starts very well with rousing live performances of There is more to this world and Church of your heart. Neither are favorites of mine, but they seem to be crowd pleasers and favorites of many. In any case, they are excellently performed to an appreciative Prog Day audience. The extended performance of Judas Kiss is probably my favorite track on the album, and really shows you what the band can do when they stretch out live. A great performance. This leads into Nothing New Under the Sun, basically just Roine's solo from that old Kaipa tune. The Lamb Lies Down performance is fine and nice to hear, but I would have preferred more original material.

CD2 sees something of a drop in the energy level with a fairly lethargic version of Big Puzzle (stretched to 18 minutes, no less). I really like this song, but they play it a bit too slow for my tastes and Roine's climactic guitar solo is not quite as breathtaking as the one from the album. Still, nice to have this version. Sounds of violence picks up the pace with some downright heavy playing by all, sounding almost like metal near the end. A small bit of Three Stories from Tomas Bodin's first solo album calms things down..........probably too much, though Roine's solo is nice. Eyes Of The World is a decent version, but again lacks much of the power and punch of the original. Again, seems a bit too slow for me. The set ends in dramatic fashion with the Flower King / Stardust Part 3 medley. While certainly a crowd pleaser, I've never cared for the FK song, and I much prefer to hear Stardust in its entirety (like on Meet The FKs). Still, not a bad ending.

So I have to say that at this point, this is not the best live representation of the Kings, and not really a very good "best of" live either. But worth having if you are a fan, or even a casual listener. A solid 3 stars for my taste.

infandous | 3/5 |


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