Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
The Flower Kings - Waiting for Miracles CD (album) cover


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

3.65 | 269 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars A measure of how much I enjoyed this album is that I over generously awarded it 5 stars after I first listened to it. Now I've had more of an opportunity to let it settle in my head I realize that 4 stars is a bit more appropriate. It reverts in musical style back to the period of the band I enjoyed the most, which was that period of the early 2000's when the band made albums like Space Revolver, that featured divided themes, orchestral songs, shorter duration songs and more melodic tunes.

Two things have changed with the band. Like Jeff Lynne whose name precedes the ELO name of his band, The Flower Kings is now more a personal vision of Roine Stolt, so a great individual keyboard artist in Tomas Bodin has been shut out of the band. In a way this is a good thing as hopefully now we get to enjoy Tomas Bodin more as a solo artist and Roine is free to pursue a different direction with other musicians. Secondly, long songs that run over 20 minutes, such as Numbers, off Banks Of Eden, or Love Is The Only Answer off Sum Of No Evil, have been relegated in favor of shorter songs of no more than about 10 minutes, a trend which began with Desolation Rose. You get the same amount of music on a Flower Kings album, but the music is more cleverly spread over two CD's (thus saving any need to provide bonus material on the second CD).

The main heart of the album are the 10 songs lasting about an hour on the first CD. The opening song, House Of Cards is a quiet piano instrumental passage beginning with synthesized bird sounds and finishing with mellotron and more synthesizer. In the House Of Cards reprise which opens the second CD the piano is swapped with guitars that play the main theme with more energy. Also on CD2, Spirals, which ends with banjo, is like a rhythmic subsection of the up tempo guitar piece, Miracles For America on CD1, which opens with the organ. Steampunk on CD2 is a cacophony of synthesizers, guitars and chorus voices that retrace the main theme from Miracles For America building into a grand finish with Roine Stolt's singing. We Were Always Here on CD2 is enjoyable on it's own as an encore piece with a Latin American drum beat and some nice Roine Stolt guitar soloing, while the last song on the album, Busking At Brobank, is what it is, a short street acoustic guitar.

Back to CD1, Black Flag is a short epic of around 7 minutes which begins with acoustic guitar then builds up tension through the chorus of voice and electric guitar, has a bridge of organ and electric piano before it transposes into the main guitar theme, then slows down into acoustic guitar and ascending electric guitar before slowing down again into synthesizers and spoken voice. Vertigo is possibly the best song on the album with catchy chorus and Hans Froberg on electric guitar and singing the main theme and Jonas Reingold prominent on bass throughout. It's the guitar work on Vertigo that I felt was missing on Banks Of Eden and Sum Of No Evil. Ascending To The Stars is an orchestral piece which I think the band last attempted on Space Revolver. The strings are complemented by guitars and synthesizers with a march theme in the middle and choruses and guitars at the finish. Wicked Old Symphony is a change in pace to a dance like beat on drums and some typical Roine Stolt singing and guitars which tail away at the end. That's followed by an instrumental guitar piece in Rebel Circus and another solid Stolt song in Sleep With The Enemy. More wonderful guitar playing on the last track on the first CD, The Crowning Of Greed.

I really thought I would miss Tomas Bodin on this album, but I don't. Zach Kamins does a more than adequate job of replacing Bodin, while Mirko DeMaio is less jazzy than previous drummers but really drives the music forward with his drum fills. This album continues the trend of Desolation Rose with shorter songs and is up there with some of the best Flower Kings albums such as Space Revolver and Stardust We Are.

iluvmarillion | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this THE FLOWER KINGS review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.