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


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

3.93 | 549 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Mr. Mustard
4 stars Stardust We Are marks the beginning of a double-album craze Roine and company seem fond of. While this would seem like a good idea, double albums like these are usually chocked full with less than amazing material, or filler. This album is no exception. The high points of this album are some of the best of the band, but the lesser material really drags down the album as a whole with its inconsistency.

The album starts off with the excellent 'In the Eyes of the World,' (9/10) which has some crazy fun melodies with signature TFK keyboard followed by an interesting guitar breakdown in the middle.

'A Room With a View' is short but pleasant segue into another great track 'Just This Once,' (8/10) which has a nice upbeat instrumental section sandwiched between Roine's vocal work. 'Church of Your Heart' (6/10) is a very uplifting track backed by Hasse/Roine's warm and dramatic vocals. The song has some great ideas, but it probably should have been shortened.

'Poor Mr. Rain's Ordinary Guitar' (6/10) is a short but very beautiful tune on acoustic guitar with the sound of thunder heard faintly in the background.

'The Man Who Walked With Kings' (9/10) has a nice symphonic sound of royalty similar to the debut album's Atomic Prince. This is another example of TFK's ability to evoke a mood. It is also very reminiscent of Roine Stolt's album, The Flower King as well.

The instrumental 'Circus Brimstone' (10/10) begins off slow and builds up into a very interesting and quirky circus-like progression in the middle. It's perhaps one of TFK's oddest, yet best songs.

'Compassion' (2/10) marks where we get into "filler" territory. The track really doesn't have any redeeming qualities at all. It is slow and aimless, and overlong.

'Pipes of Peace' is another segue song which introduces a theme that will later be used in the title track.

'The End of Innocence' (4/10) is another uninteresting song, but does have a few good ideas. It is also longer than it should be at almost nine minutes.

'The Merrygoround' (9/10) is a nice little change from the few previous tracks. It is mostly upbeat with some fantastic melodies and is very much a classic TFK tune.

'Don of the Universe' (8/10) is based on a repetitive melody that is built upon throughout the track. What the song lacks in variety it makes up in atmosphere.

'Different People,' (4/10) 'Kingdom of Lies,' (6/10) 'If 28' (4/10) 'Ghost of the Red Cloud,' (3/10) and Hotel Nirvana (3/10) are all filler tracks with hardly an interesting material.

The album ends with the 25-minute epic 'Stardust We Are.' (10/10) This is probably the best song the Flower Kings have ever created. It is filled with one melody after another and the arrangement and flow is superb. The main theme is one of the most uplifting and amazing things I've ever heard. The song also takes many themes from other songs as well. This song alone is almost enough to make me forget about the mess that happened before immediately before it.

Overall, this album is really hurt by inconsistency. If they had omitted most of the second half this album could have easily been of five-star quality. Nevertheless, Stardust We Are is a solid album with some very amazing material.


Mr. Mustard | 4/5 |


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