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The Flower Kings - Look at You Now CD (album) cover

LOOK AT YOU NOW

The Flower Kings

 

Symphonic Prog

3.67 | 96 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars I still remember the impact Roine Stolt's fourth solo album had on me when it was released back in 1994, but I don't think even he ever imagined that nearly 30 years on he would still be with the band who were originally formed to play that music. Hasse Fröberg (vocals) sang on that, Michael Stolt (bass, vocals, keyboards, guitar) was in the original line-up and returned a few years ago, while drummer Mirko Demaio has now been in the role for five years and the line-up is completed by keyboard player Lalle Larsson (he only plays a few tracks here) who was with Roine in Karmakanic. As for Roine, he only provides vocals, guitar, keyboards and percussion on this one.

Does Roine understand how to produce a poor album? Probably not to be fair, no matter who he is working with, but there have undoubtedly been releases which have been overlong and needed serious editing to make them more palatable. However, either side of the six-year gap he appears to have that under control, and this sits happily as a follow-on to last year's 'By Royal Decree'. Last year's? Yes, The Flower Kings are back in the groove ? remember, their first 10 studio albums were released between 1995 and 2007, then they took five years off before another two, and this is their fourth in five. There is only one other act which I can think of which is that productive, so it is no surprise that in Neal Morse, Roine found a kindred spirit. Anyone looking for something dramatically different from The Flower Kings may be disappointed, but the rest of us will not as this is yet another incredibly enjoyable release which is instantly identifiable as Roine's work without even looking at the sleeve. Great songs, performances and vocals (both lead and backing), all with the swathes of keyboards and retro sounds and styles we have come to expect? Of course.

Roine may be 68 years old, but he is showing no sign whatsoever of slowing down, and in some ways appears to be speeding up! The album may be only slightly less than 70 minutes in length, but this never feels over-long as it allows to revel in the music on offer and again be firmly in the wonderful world The Flower Kings where they continue to deliver one essential album after another.

kev rowland | 4/5 |

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