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


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

3.92 | 650 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Flower Kings. Probably one of the best prog-revival bands currently in existence. Yes, many try to imitate the golden age of progressive rock in its most significant details. We can also mention other groups that attempt this feat ... for example, Spock's Beard immediately comes to mind, a group that I adore, which plays well, which fully preserves those structures, but often combines easy catchy choruses and pop sensibility which, even if very beautiful do not exactly refer to that period; to mention also the excellent Magic Pie, whose melodies are faithfully inspired by that period but those more or less evident hard rock influences do not allow to fully resurrect that period. Flower Kings, on the other hand, are the band you must listen to if you really want to breathe a real breath of prog seventies! Imitating the greats of the past is very difficult but this band really does it great ... I challenge anyone to hear one of their records and to say that it is a record made in fairly recent years.

A complex and sophisticated prog made up of vintage atmospheres, sometimes more delicate sounds, sometimes more scratchy, an introspective vocal performance that is certainly not appreciated at first glance and always great care in the use of the instrumentation including the old dear mellotron, hammond, synthesizers , etc ... And this band manages to amaze with particular and sometimes unexpected music and atmospheres in the same way that historical prog groups did, although their music has never undergone major variations over the years. And it really does it without making you regret the great seventies classics! Certainly thanks to a highly experienced musician such as Roine Stolt, singer and guitarist, one who has come a long way before forming the group. Some might call the group too derivative. It's true, but even if the groups that turn out to be the most interesting are those who experiment and try to create a style that is as strictly personal while referring to very specific models, sometimes it's also nice to hear something more strictly classic, to deny the rumors that it would no longer be possible to produce something truly sophisticated in a genre where everything seems already written ... And congratulations to the FK, who do it with great class! "Stardust We Are" certainly represents one of the moments of greatest inspiration for the group. Released in 1997 after an excellent debut with "Back In The World Of Adventures" and after the masterpiece "Retropolis", this album creates with its predecessor a truly formidable combination! Someone sees in this album (and someone else in the previous one) the unattainable, the perfection ... I don't know exactly which is the best album of their career but I don't want to question that this album is a masterpiece! All the best that progressive rock can give ... here it is! For the first time the band chooses a double cd solution ... a choice that would lead someone to argue. Someone, seeing the 2CD writing on the package, might already be thinking about which ball of record they would be in front of if they really bought it ... or maybe they would listen to it willingly but would never be able to get to the end if not even put it on the shelf of the 'home closet after four or five tracks.

This is a difficult, complex, varied album, but precisely because it is varied, this album can be listened to until the end without getting a hit on the head. I think ears are not enough to listen to a record like this! Soul and heart are essential! Only by letting yourself be guided by music and emotions, only by making an intricate mental journey of which music is the driving vehicle can you really enjoy this work until the last! And then it never falls into repetition, and will stop giving new and interesting ideas only when "stop" appears on the player at the end of the second disc! There are many songs (9 in the first cd, 11 in the second) and of different taste from each other! Delicious and cheerful instrumental games and mood swings characterize songs like "In The Eyes Of The World", "Just This Once" and the valuable instrumental "Circus Brimstone"; we let ourselves be caressed by the touching and melancholy melodies of "Church Of Your Heart"; we let ourselves be refreshed by the oriental essences of "Don Of The Universe" with that sitar that seems to have been borrowed from Ravi Shankar. And many other wonders await us in this fantastic world! The valuable instrumental bands such as the acoustic "Porr Mr. Rain's Ordinary Guitar" and the piano "If 28"; the amazing suite that gives the album its title; but also more pleasantly catchy songs like the sunny "Different People" and "Kingdom Of Lies", confirming that you can build strong impact melodies without losing your usual personality! Even the simple one-minute interludes are well-kept ... you don't really want to create anything that isn't memorable!

prog_traveller!! | 4/5 |


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