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The Flower Kings - Banks of Eden CD (album) cover

BANKS OF EDEN

The Flower Kings

 

Symphonic Prog

4.05 | 865 ratings

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Dapper~Blueberries
4 stars I have been a good fan of The Flower Kings for some time now, obviously. So listening to more of their albums is always a special treat for me. It's like a goody bag filled with great songs and great sounds. I have not found any album of their's which I haven't enjoyed. This album is no different, heck this may be a contender for their best. So let's dive in what I really love about this album.

I have to say that they just sound super happy to be playing on this one, moreso than their past records. After all this is their comeback record after a bit of a hiatus, and you can hear their excitement of coming back after so long. The album is also pretty accessible, in terms of length, not sound unless you are a Prog fan, but this is probably their shortest album they have done yet, only being 54 minutes. This gives it an edge ahead of the other albums, since it can be listened to without the need to possibly pause it if you have work or chores. More often than not I do have stuff to do, so being able to hear this album in it's glory without stopping is a super special treat. It's rather short, but it doesn't waste any seconds, each song are their own distinct masterful works of art, from the lustrous Numbers, to the thought provoking For Those About To Drown, each song fills a unique roll on the album that should never be underestimated or under appreciated. It also feels like they are truly embracing a bit more of the rock side of Prog rock more in this record than that of their previous. While others felt like symphonies, here it sounds a bit more rock like. Of course keeping the symphonic sounds alive, but they clearly focus more on guitars and loud, hard rock instrumentals than symphonic ones, and they are very enjoyable.

I do admit though, I kinda like the hour or two hour long albums though honestly. Something about them just had a certain charm to them, and I kinda get a little homesick listening to this album. As much as I praise the accessible time length and the rock like sound, it makes this album feel like a fish out of water compared to albums like Retropolis and or Stardust We Are. It's a double edged sword for this album. It also definitely feels like a comeback record where you can tell they sort of do not really know much about what they are doing. It's a concept record, yet I do not feel like the concept goes to a place where I can be as invested to the lyrics and words as I am to the instrumentation, which is really off putting because I love both the lyrics and instrumentation to any and all Flower Kings records, but this one not so much, which makes it feel rather out of place in their discography.

This is a great album. It's beautifully made and feels like a nice starting point to anyone who wants to get into The Flower Kings, however it definitely feels out of place in their discography to me and makes me a bit sad due to that, like this is a great record, maybe their best in terms of sound and instrumentation, but it definitely doesn't feel right at home for me.

Dapper~Blueberries | 4/5 |

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