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


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

3.93 | 549 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Stardust We Are is the first double disc effort from The Flower Kings. This one has more of an identity than it's predeccesors, but in it's duration loses some points due to inconsistency in quality. Here is the problem, they had enough five star material to fill up both discs really (keeping each at just under an hour). For some reason they felt they should fill up all of the time they could with that second disc, and they did so with mediocre material. It makes me wonder though, becasue the first disc is only 54 minutes long. The second disc could have been about the same length too, and it wouldn't have lost any value, if not gained.

The first disc is a masterpiece. Every song is fantastic, displaying their strongest material yet. From the powerhouse opener "In the Eyes of the World" to the excellent "Just This Once" to the Yes-like ballad "The Church of Your Heart" to the stunning and fabulous instrumental series of "Poor Mr. Rain's Ordinary Guitar," "The Man Who Walked With Kings," and "Circus Brimstone" and finishing with "Compassion" (I didn't include the short transitional pieces), we have faultless material. It has plenty of variety, plenty of fun, plenty of emotion (The Man Who Walked With Kings, particularly, is one of the most stirring instrumentals I've ever heard), plenty of excellent performances, etc. All they would have had to do is throw the title track in at the end (I think it would just barely fit), and we would have a perfect album.


We have a second disc. It starts out very promising. After a short intro, with a foreshadowing of the epic closer, "The End of Innocence" begins with one of my all-time favorite portions of a song. The first two minutes are so heart-wrenching. Beautiful vocal line and perfect accompanying guitar licks. I love when The Kings do stuff like this. Unfortunately the next 6 minutes of the song go elsewhere and never return to where it began. The rest of the song is still pretty good, but after such a marvelous start, I can't appreciate the rest as much, I guess. The next two pieces are pretty good too: "The Merry-Go-Round" is a happy piece, and "Don of the Universe" is a good instrumental with a sitar incorporrated into it. Not as stellar as the previous disc, but good nonetheless. Here is where the albums only problem lies. Tracks 6-9 (save "If 28," which is a good piano interlude) are a bunch of mediocre songs in contrast to the rest of the album. "Different People," namely, is a good pop song, but it and the other two following songs don't stand up to the power of it's co-habitants on the album. The last piece, at just over 25 minutes, "Stardust We Are" more than makes up for what was lost before, and is a fine ending to a fine album.

Aside from a few negligible interludes and the weak tracks on the second disc, this album is packed with excellent music. It's not totally a masterpiece for the stated faults on the second disc, but the good material is just so good. I'm trying hard to keep myself from giving this one the five stars, and I will suceed. I would say 4 1/2, but for it's excesses and keeping away my biased opinion of some of it, I'll leave it at 4.

Moatilliatta | 3/5 |


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