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The Flower Kings - Flower Power CD (album) cover

FLOWER POWER

The Flower Kings

 

Symphonic Prog

3.96 | 368 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

darkshade
5 stars Flower Power is a bit of a controversial album in The Flower Kings discography. It is the second double album in a row after only a year, and according to some, it contains the band's magnum opus piece "Garden of Dreams", but then also contains some of the band's weakest material. While I agree that the hour-long epic "Garden of Dreams" is possibly the band's greatest work, I do not agree that the other material is the weakest. In fact, I think the other material, which is mostly on the second disc, has some of the band's strongest material, and most of the other is underrated. This is also the first album, in my opinion, where the band had finally become a full, working unit, with everyone playing to the fullest, and feels like classic Flower Kings. Hasse Froberg's vocals are finally taking a much bigger role in the music than the previous 2 albums, and even though Jonas Reingold hadn't joined the band yet, bassist Michael Stolt does a fantastic job, and may have his best overall performance on this album. Jamie Salazar plays some of his most furious drumming here, as well.

But let's get on with disc 1. It contains the already mentioned "Garden of Dreams", with a nice coda piece following it in "Astral Dog". The epic is, however, quite epic. That word gets thrown around a bit much on this site, but GoD is the definition of 'epic'. The song goes through some of the most challenging and moving sections of music I've ever heard, not to mention from TFK. This is probably the most exciting from a keyboard perspective. Tomas Bodin is a bit more of a reserved player, but here, he lets loose on a few sections, and has some nice melody lines as well. The song gets a little heavier and rocks out for a little bit before moving into the darkest moment on this album. A brooding, almost scary section, that reminds me the Dark Ages for some reason, I don't know. It eventually returns to a more uplifting section, as you can feel the end is near. The grand finale is beautiful, and has nearly moved me to tears on more than one occasion. The epic is followed by the coda piece, "Astral Dog", which is mostly a Roine guitar solo in the vein of Frank Zappa. Perfect end to a perfect disc of music.

That, alone, would be a 5 star album. But the band has an entire second disc of music, longer than the first disc.

The second disc contains great to excellent songs some highlights are:

Deaf Dumb & Blind opens up disc 2. This is another TFK classic, Some great symphonic moments, with a touch of a middle-eastern vibe. Stupid Girl is alright, a little too light, but goes into a fusion-type improv section, with a little more Zappa influence at the end. Corruption is a classic 90s TFK hard rock tune, with a good chorus, excellent organ, and great solos from Roine. This is followed by a Bodin atmospheric piece, which is nice, maybe too long, but nice. Nothing special.

Next song is Psychedelic Postcard, and this may be one of the band's most underrated songs. It almost reminds me of Zappa's Mothers of Invention from the 60s, with that high pitched vocal technique, and some of the keyboard sounds; but the music is mostly symphonic prog. The song eventually makes it way to the best part of the song, the climax if you will, and is one of the band's most uplifting vocal sections. This song should be one of the band's signature tunes. This is seriously one of their best songs, a little wacky though.

Magic Pie is next. seen as one of their weaker songs in the band's catalog. I never understood this. I mean, it's not the greatest song they ever made, but it's got some real catchy vocals and the chorus is beautiful.

The album ends with Afterlife, which is mostly a reprise of a couple of themes from Garden of Dreams, to round off the album (in case you forgot you were listening to the same album, hehe).

If you're a symphonic prog fan, and do not have this album, you'll be doing yourself a big favor by getting this. Just disc 1 alone is worth the price of admission, as it truly is one of the greatest pieces of progressive rock you'll ever hear.

darkshade | 5/5 |

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