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The Flower Kings - Flower Power CD (album) cover


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

3.95 | 471 ratings

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4 stars This is definitely another excellent album by the Flower Kings which to me it sounds like a concept album even though the music does not seem to transcend into something with singular theme. It's probably the band's intention to give the listeners with varied styles and textures. With its powerful long epic Garden of Dreams that is broken down into 18 pieces with varied duration each ranging from1 minute to 5 minutes plus. From this standpoint I could sense that the division into 18 pieces seems too many (it's hard to memorize) let alone the overall duration that takes almost one hour less 3 seconds. But don't get me wrong, musically this long epic is truly an excellent music, overall. Only when the track enters number 12 and 13 I don't see its connection, musically, with previous 11 tracks - it seems to me so disjointed because suddenly it turns out to be a Klaus Schulze thing (sort of) - or something like a space music.

From track 1 to track 11 I can assure you that these parts are truly terrific music combining mostly symphonic styles with rock and sometimes jazz. As usual, first track "Dawn" (1:34) serves like an overture followed with symphonic style "Simple Song" (1:49). Track / part 3 "Business Vamp" (4:57) starts off beautifully with pretty melodic keyboard accompanied with the music in "flowing" style. It's an amazing track and it's gonna favor those of you who adore neo prog music. Well, you know ... typical neo prog lovers (like me, of course!) loves beautiful melodies that are memorable like those melodies produced by Marillion's Bitter Suite "It's getting late ...etc" of the Misplaced Childhood album. I think, you know what I mean ... If you don't, my apology ..(and I recommend you to have Misplaced Childhood album by Marillion first before you enjoy this CD!).

Neat tracks: 4 - 9 are excellent continuation of the previous parts with consistent delivery of varied music textures with singular musical theme. Track 4 "All You Can Save" (5:01) guitar solo reminds me to David Gilmour style. Bodin supports its keyboard work beautifully especially at the end of the solo with its pulsating sounds, unique to Bodin's style. Tracks 5 and 6 are great tracks especially when it reaches track 9 "Don't let the d'Evil in" which resembles a combination of symphonic and classic rock music. It has strong melody with great riffs and fills by Roine's guitar work. Really cool.

Track 10 "Love is The Word" brings the music into a bit of avant-garde with great choir line. The style presented here confirms to me that the band wants to give the listeners with beautiful arrangement in basically not straight forward structure of music. Bodin's keyboard work characterizes this track. Track 11 "There's No Such Night" to me is like a closure to this epic. But it flows to next spacey track which I do not favor and I consider it's an error that the band has made with this epic. When the band bring the music back with track 14 "Indian Summer" it sounds that the music has derailed from the original souls of tracks 1 to 11 - musically. It seems to me like another epic and it does not serve as a cohesive whole with track 1 to 11.

"Astral Dog" (written by Stolt and Salazar) is another loose song to conclude disc one. This song is an instrumental piece with Stolt's solo in jazzy style. It's an excellent track - individually.

Disc 2 starts off with "Deaf, Numb and Blind" (11:00) which has a strong composition, powerful song writing - combining symphonic keyboard style and excellent guitar work which at the beginning part has an eastern nuance in its melody. It's an amazing track for me. I like the style in which the music moves in crescendo from mellow opening into upbeat tempo where the vocal starts to roll. It's a dynamic song. Oh yes, it offers many differen styles and textures which make the music is really "rich" in its composition. Bravo TFK! I love you guys ...!!!

"Stupid Girl" (6:49) starts with electronic drumming and it's probably the only song which has different style - but it still an excellent track though. "Corruption" (5:54) is a favorite of mine as it combines a classic rock nuance with symphonic prog music. Awesome!

Other songs presented on Disc Two are all excellent in compositions. "Calling Home" is probably the highlight as it combines church organ sounds with symphonic style in relatively medium tempo music.

It's an excellent addition to any prog music collection; highly recommended to prog freaks who appreciate great music. I tend to give this album a five star rating. But considering the disjointed parts at the long epic, I can only give four star plus for this album. But I'm sure this album will satisfy your prog needs and The Flower Kings is one of great bands that deliver great music. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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