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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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The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars A flawed masterpiece, I'll say it now and make myself clear: this wonderful collection of songs, were it not so long, would have been one of my top 5 albums of all time, for it has some of the best songs you can get in TODAY's symphonic rock... but, yes, the traditional elephantism from which axe-genius Roine Stolt suffers heavily: a lot of songs, a couple TOO MANY.

That's why I won't do a track by track review here, I'll just mention the tracks I think make this album a piece of art and that, by themselves, would have made a perfect, flawless record worthy of 6/5 stars instead of the 4 I'm giving it. So, this means, this are the only songs I would've put in this album, all the others, which I won't even talk about, are of little worth and make a dent in this otherwise perfectly smooth sculpture:

My Ideal Stardust We Are:

In The Eyes of the world (11/10), sorry for the hyperbolization, I lose objectivity when it comes to this song, it's one of my 5 favorite of all time, it's just 10 minutes long (it's curious that for us prog-lovers 10 minutes is only an average song length), but the most driving, insane, adrenalin-pumping, desperating minutes you can get. For the initial notes played in a playful keyboard, the song actually perfectly conveys the idea of a person that feels like he's just a clown in the eyes of everybody have the clown part (the funny, burlesque melody) and you have the inherent tragedy for every clown, you can feel that double-sided coin that is saying "I'm a clown: i appear to be happy, I'm completely miserable)...the wonderful verse gives way to the pre-chorus (I love, love when a band knows how to build tension by adding a pre-chorus before a song's chorus), a moment of ambiguity, and then the concise, definitive, cutting chorus where the lines I just quote appear makes his grandiose, if ultimataly soul-crashing entrance....this song has such a drive, a groove, it's so dynamically moving, not only soul-moving but also feet-moving!! (I just can't stop my feet from playing "fake bass drum and hi hat" when I listen to this)...there's a middle instrumental section, with some form of resignation by the sad character, but then reality comes and strikes back: after this trio-like section (trio as in classical third movements - scherzo-trio-scherzo), the impetuous comes back, the train breaks the barrier, truth falls on top of you: "work - your- way up like a bulldozer" as you may, you're stilla clown in the eyes of the world, and as the song ends, you realize you'll always be....Is this song actually that good? I don't care what anybody says, I just Know this is one of the best ever and maybe my absolute favorite... this "short" track alone is worth the price of admission....

Church of your heart, (10/10)... who said beauty is absent of today's prog???? have you listen to this song without "only classics prog"-prejudice out of your mind? This band, we all know, still believe in peace, love, hippism... this songs could well be the anthem for their Flower Nation.... it's so beautiful, at times beatific (yes, others before them discovered the possibilities of making a synth do church like sounds, but not everybody can use a good idea and make it work so flawlessy and even BETTER than the original).... the church that your heart is is best represented in the abnormally precious, wonderful chorus... if after listening to this song you don't feel like you love all mankind, man, let's bring Dr. Freud in here.... kidding....

Circus brimstone (9/10) great instrumental track, you feel like you're in a circus... after the man who felt like a clown in the first song, you are now in the actual circus, but without clowns.... very good descriptive-musicianship, as you clearly get the idea of being surrounded (like in a green-dream, you know what I'm talking about, hippism couldn't be true without some), being in the midst of a great Barnum Ringling, but deserted.... excellent

Compasion (9/10), an atmospheric, uttelry deppressing track, that stars so quiet, with just an echo of Stolt's voice asking for compassion for people against an eerie backdrop, like asking for compassion while being in the place less likely to allow for it... (isn't that the earth?) This song feels like that: you are asking for something nobody will ever give you... it has a Floydian, spacey atmosphere, inusual fot the Flower kings but again, STARdust we are... a crescendo arrives to the final climax when it seems that compassion is just not possible....

End of innocence (8/10), a good instrumental, with atmospheric keyboards, an unhappy mood to it...a track we need to include in our ideal album for it serves its purpose...

Different people (8/10), yes, is the most poppy song in the album, but, I know my swedes, they HAVE to have a poppy song in every record...and as always, their poppy songs are joyful, soul-lifting...we need a track like this in our ideal album before....

Stardust we Are (10/10), an epic of epic proportions (I know that sounded stupid... but I mean: epic size, epic IDEA for that's what the song deals about).... a gigantic song with amazing musicianship, a coherent strcuture, great vocals by underrated vocal master Hasse Froberg... this song builds in tension as the lyrics do until, near the end, the band finally proclaims, like the culmination of the inherent concept behind the whole disc: Stardust we are.... nothing more, nothing less....we are just dust, we are just a particle within this infinite universe...but we come from the STARS... we are cosmical...we are GREAT...or better, we SHOULD we great....

That would be my ideal album.... for you who just like brain-numbing, philosophical- challenging analisis in your prog-rock lyrics and concepts, I'll say...

STARDUST WE ARE. Nothing more, nothing less. In the whole picture, in the whole cosmic truth (whatever that may be), we are just dust.... so let's start loving each other a little more....

That sounded too "cheesy"? Well, sorry, I forgot in this day and age, you have to speak of terror, chaos and the utter claws of fate's beast to be considered rational....

I can only answer,


The T | 5/5 |


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