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The Flower Kings

Symphonic Prog

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The Flower Kings Paradox Hotel album cover
3.70 | 567 ratings | 63 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1 - Room 111 (72:59)
1. Check In (1:38)
2. Monsters & Men (21:20)
3. Jealousy (3:20)
4. Hit Me with a Hit (5:32)
5. Pioneers of Aviation (7:43)
6. Lucy Had a Dream (5:29)
7. Bavarian Skies (6:39)
8. Selfconsuming Fire (5:54)
9. Mommy Leave the Light On (4:40)
10. End on a High Note (10:44)

CD 2 - Room 222 (63:10)
11. Minor Giant Steps (12:13)
12. Touch My Heaven (6:09)
13. The Unorthodox Dancinglesson (5:23)
14. Man of the World (5:59)
15. Life Will Kill You (7:02)
16. The Way the Waters Are Moving (3:11)
17. What If God Is Alone (7:00)
18. Paradox Hotel (6:30)
19. Blue Planet (9:43)

Total Time 136:09

Line-up / Musicians

- Hasse Fröberg / vocals, electric & acoustic (15,17) guitars
- Roine Stolt / electric, acoustic (8,10,16) & 12-string (9) guitars, mandolin (10), bass (18), piano (3), Mellotron (7-9,16), percussion, vocals, orchestration (3), producer
- Tomas Bodin / keyboards, piano, synth, Minimoog (5,10,15), organ, pipe organ (2,5), Hammond (2), Mellotron (2,4,17,19), Wurlitzer (6,12,13), Rhodes (15), Fx (1,6,15), backing vocals (10,12)
- Jonas Reingold / bass, fretless bass (19), acoustic guitar (14), backing (10) & harmony (14) vocals
- Marcus Liliequist / drums, Turkish drum (4), cowbell (5), shaker (10), backing vocals (10)

- Hasse Bruniusson / marimba (4,13), bongos (8), gong (13)

Releases information

Artwork: Andres Pablo Valle

CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMCD 241 (2006, Germany)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy THE FLOWER KINGS Paradox Hotel Music

THE FLOWER KINGS Paradox Hotel ratings distribution

(567 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

THE FLOWER KINGS Paradox Hotel reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Trickster F.
2 stars "Regressive Progressive Rock"

The Flower Kings, Swedish Progressive group led by one of the most experienced members of the scene Roine Stolt, have released a new album, titled - Paradox Hotel. This is yet another 2CD the group has to offer its fans and it contains yet another "epic" over 20 minutes in length. This can't go wront, right? Wrong. Paradox Hotel is a fine a example of how one should not judge a book by its cover(speaking about the cover literally, that's some terrible cover art!) - being overlong and containing "epic" tracks doesn't make the album any better than it is. On the countrary, it seems that being too long makes it even more incoherent, which was the case with another The Flower Kings album I used to have on my hands - Unfold The Future, which I found to be even more disastrous.

The album starts with the short sample Check In, which contains nothing interesting at least in the musical sense. Monsters And Men is next and, what do you know, it's the longest track on this album! All "epic" tracks, accept it or not, always make the listener expect something earth-shattering and that's why they tend to disappoint us a lot - sometimes due to the expectations themselves, at other times it is the fault of the songwriters. I'm afraid the latter is the case here, as the songwriting of this "piece" is inspiring and dull. I had trouble finishing the rotten experience of trying to listen to this music, simply because after this track I did not want to continue wasting my time. I do not doubt the technical prowess of the musicians, however, from my point of view, songwriting is something they seem to have abandoned since Space Revolver and it definitely needs a lot of work for future releases. If you've heard any other TFK album, you'll know where my main complaint comes from - no direction! The direction is either completely missing here, as the music goes absolutely nowhere, or the main point is exactly showing off technical skill and as many moods as possible. Roine Stolt sings here. He has a hearty voice, which I happen to like, however, I find it insincere on this record(an ability I've developed by listening to a lot of music, I suppose)and his singing and the lyrics that are written quite well simply can't save the album and make it worthwhile - much like the group's personal abilities.

In all but one TFK album I've heard so far, I've noticed that tracks and parts of tracks can be divided on a groups: ones that seem to pay homage to the 70's legends (Genesis, Gentle Giant, Yes, King Crimson, you name 'em), often all at once at the same time, some bizarre sounding songs that wouldn't be out of place on a contemporary adult radio station, and ones of the group's distinct style that is also derivative and drives me crazy with its lack of direction. After the epic track described above, the other tracks seem to follow that pattern as well. I am glad to mention, however, that the second part of the first CD, from Pioneers Of Aviation to Selfconsuming Fire is more listenable than the previous tracks, which made me proud that I finally made it through the madness to hear what perhaps is the best side of the group. Many of the tracks here either contain some nice melodies without going to nowhere or have a remarkable atmosphere, something I never associated TFK's music with. One thing I feel I should complain about though is that there is some giggling in a couple of tracks here, which is really out of place and does not suit the mood of the corresponding composition at all. The second disc does not hold up to my expectations either and makes me regret spending my time with this release.

To sum up my thoughts: in most cases, this is derivative, incoherent, chaotic music with a lack of direction, without the songwriting to back up it being overlong. This is exactly what I hate in TFK's sound and the exact qualities I try to avoid in my prog diet. Perhaps, people are referring to the TFK-styled groups when they form a prejudiced opinion against the type of music this site covers so deeply? I wouldn't be surprised actually. Despite some pleasant moments being included, I have to say that I would rather listen to three other albums that are actually innovative and interesting to listen to, instead of spending more than two hours trying to digest this. Time is money!

My final verdict will be more sober though and should not frighten anyone: this is a typical TFK album in every sense of the word and has some elements the group, to my knowledge, has yet implemented into their music, so if you are a fan of the musicians, I don't see why you would avoid it. However, to those unfamiliar with the group yet or already with negative impressions of the group's style: remember, there is more to prog than a single group and what is God's gift to mankind may very well be a disaster to another. Do not form your opinion on the whole genre, style or even era of music based on just one release - a mistake I once had the misfortune to make.

Review by Zitro
4 stars Any Flower Kings fans afraid that this will be a stinker? Don't worry!! Here, you got Standard Flower Kings: it is just the Flower Kings making good music!

I was afraid too ... without the sax of Ulf, the voice of Daniel, and the wonderful jazzy drummer .. I didn't expect that much, and the album cover didn't help. I pre-ordered it anyways and then listened with an open mind without trying to make comparisons. The epic really turned me off at first listen, but then I liked the rest and I now enjoy the epic. This is, like Roine said, the Flowers' version of the Beatles' "White Album" ... it is like a summary of the band as a double album. I'm sure you'll like it a lot. Another interesting thing to note is that is sounds even more "retro" than retropolis! IT has moog synths, grand piano, the old Mellotron (!) in abundance, and a more raw and live sound.

Warning: Like all FK albums, it takes several listens to love it.

EPICS (Very challenging, but the patience is worth it):

After a pointless NASA recording of a takeoff, "Monsters and Men" starts. I know that when you first hear it, you will think that this is a complete mess! Actually, while I admit it is a bit weak compared to some of their previous epics, I've grown to love it. The problem with it is that it feels it has a lot of amazing moments usually connected lazily from one to another in the first listens and sometimes not given enough exploration of those themes. Unfortunately, it has a few bad parts at around the middle which I will never like. The good parts of it are excellent (hear the intro, and the majestic part at minute 16-18 to see what I mean). After 10+ listens, it appears more coherent, so I raised my score to: 7.5/10

"End at a high note" has the "And You and I" feel. It is very uplifting, has a gorgeous wordless vocal pas7.sage done in harmony repeated throughout the whole track and some good soloing in the somewhat uninspired rocking middle section. It is very poppy and catchy, so it tends to be a highlight at first listen 7.5/10

"Minor Giant Steps" has great ideas, including a gorgeous melodic line "I'm just a minor giant bird/soul". instrumentally, it is excellent. A bit difficult to get into, but excellent once you get it. If you like their extended epics full of solos, I'm sure you'll like this song a lot. 8.5/10

Short-Midlength tracks (the Strength in this CD):

Hit me with a Hit: Silly title and also sounds silly at first as a consequence of the vibraphone and the funky rhythm. The title is brilliant though once you find out that this song attacks the music industry (get it? hit!). It is actually a very good track with great guitar riffing, interesting funky rhythm, and a wonderful instrumental break that even features mellotron. The melodies are poppy and very likable. There is a reference to a DJ or hip hop in the middle. 8/10

Pioneers of Aviation: After a spacey intro, this is a good rock instrumental with electric guitar leads in the vein of Roine's "Flower King" solo album. Tomas Bodin plays a synth solo in the middle and a keyboard solo at the end. 6.5/10

Selfconsuming Fire is a highlight of the first disc and will make you forget about Bavarian Skies (if you don't like that track). Gorgeous acoustic guitars, nice melodies, great fretless bass playing, memorable pain of salvation style chorus (is Daniel doing the vocals here?), ol' school mellotron, and a mindblowing hard rock climax featuring a great guitar solo. It has very dark lyrics. Nothing wrong about this song at all. The highlight. 10/10

Mommy Leave The Light on is overall dark and mellow (About a dying child). The electric keyboard playing is haunting and creates an atmosphere similar to the first instrumental break of Suppers Ready. The song tends to drag though as well as the transition to the following track with the "Mommy Leave the Light on!" looped for a minute 5.5/10

Touch My Heaven: This is a haunting track with my favourite vocals from Hans. The choruses repeating each word twice in different notes is a neat effect, with the word "heaven" sounding strong in the first time, and extremely powerful in the second chorus. The guitar solo is brilliant and reminds you of David Gilmour at his best. 9/10

Man of The World isn't an impressive track, but it offers very good vocal harmonies in its choruses and a very good instrumental section as always near the end. It just feels like a part of the album, and the melodies are brilliant 8.5/10

The Way The Waters Are Moving: a moving FK ballad on piano about the Tsunami disaster. I love how the mellotron (or whatever keyboard) captures the sound of the crashing waves in the chorus 8.5/10

What if God is Alone?: A great tune indeed. The vocal harmonies are great as usual, and the emotion packed in this song is overwhelming. The slow buildup to the climax is professionally done, and the choruses are classic. My only gripe is how long it takes to get started. If the intro was cut off, this could be a great radio-friendly track in the vein of U2 8/10

Paradox Hotel: A very entertaining hard rocker. While the verses are not melodically strong, the music behind it is, and the choruses are really something! "It's a Living Hell! At Paradox Hotel! Come Live in Hell! At Paradox Hotel!" 7/10

Blue Planet: If you felt you missed melodies after Paradox Hotel, you got them here. I great closer to a great album. The chorus is magical! Here, you got everything you can think of from the Flower Kings, including an extended guitar solo leading the song with its melodic beauty for minutes. 9.5/10

Experiments (they often work with the exception of Bavarian Skies):

Lucy Had a Dream: Beatle-esque psychedelic tune with a great guitar intro which a melody later used as vocal melodies. The songs seamlessly turns into a trippy merry-go- round part. Strange, but it works extremely well. (also note that the sinister laugh is heard here as well) 8/10

Bavarian Skies: It has distorted Stolt vocals to attempt to sound like Hitler (his attempt may work, but I don't like the sound of the distorted voice too much, I thought he learned his mistake when he did this during the earlier "Monsters Within"). This song is in the vein of "Vampire's View", yet I not as strong. The vocal melodies are nowhere to be found (even the excellent operatic instrumentation doesn't save the vocals), and the symphonic part after Hitler says goodbye may be appropiate to the concept, but I don't like it. I still don't skip it because the instrumentation is very good. 5.5/10

Unorthodox Dancing Lesson: The verses Feature a tricky rhythm of 13/8 played professionally by the bass, drums, and rhythm guitar. It sounds a bit goofy at first, but you'll get used to the sound just like you did with Circus Brimstone from Stardust We Are. The choruses are a quick burst of heavy metal with a riff that sounds similar to Lark Tongue in Aspic pt2 from King Crimson. The best part of this song is the middle section. IT is some of the best avant garde I've heard with the guitar sounding like it's being tortured. It gets really dark and intense at its climax and then ends with the verse heard at the beginning. Great experiment! 8.5/10

Life Will Kill You: The Flower Kings playing Rock&Blues? Now that caught me by surprise, especially since the drummer composed the song. This is a good rockin' tune that you would enjoy if you like Roine's "Wallstreet Voodoo". This song could easily be on the radio if the band was better known. The only negative I can give is the goofy "rhythmic" electronic vocals heard in the first verse. However, you have the rocking organ, rocking guitar soloing. Rock on! 6.5/10

Get it Flower King lovers. This is one of their most cohesive albums. However, I wish that in their next album, that they would focus on being more innovative. The Flower King formula would probably become repetitive if this goes on. Adventurous albums like Unfold the Future, Flower Power, and Space Revolver will surely be welcome.

Review by AtLossForWords
5 stars I'm not going to suprise anyone by writing a five star review for The Flower Kings. (All you have to do is look right above the review.) It might be interesting to know why this Flower Kings album is five stars though.

Paradox Hotel is yet another double album in The Flower Kings discography (Stardust We Are, Flower Power, and Unfold the Future being the others). The album is long (slightly over 2 hours). It will be debated by fans forever whether or not the album justifies two discs, but it's there so it might as well be reviewed. Pardox Hotel is a more experimental album from The Flower Kings. While previous Flower Kings albums focus on individual instrumental skills of musicians like Roine Stolt, Tomas Bodin, and bass master Jonas Reingold; Paradox Hotel is more about all of these great musicians grooving togethor to create a strong rock album. The vocals on this album seem to be a bigger focus than usual as well. With the departure of Daniel Gildenlow, the vocal picture focuses even more on Hasse Froberg and Roine Stolt. This is an all but typical album from The Flower Kings that will suprise quite a few fans.

It would be wrong of me to begin a Flower Kings review without starting with Roine Stolt. Stolt's performance on this album is less prominent than others. This is not a bad thing though. Stolt's trademark bluesy solos are still prominent throughout the album, but this time other musicans are able to take the spotlight more than on previous albums. Stolt's composing is once again top notch. On Pardox Hotel, Stolt's playing is more built around chords and harmonies than screaming melodies. The melodic technique is still very much a part of Stot's playing, but his performance is a little more balanced on this album. Stolt's singing is once again brought more into the spotlight with the departure of Daniel Gildenlow. The harmonies between Stolt and Froberg are much better than on the previous two albums (Unfold the Future and Adam and Eve).

Hasse Froberg makes another great vocal performance on this album. Froberg was one of the few members of The Flower Kings that put in a five star effort on the previous album Adam and Eve. On Paradox Hotel, the five star effort still remains. Froberg's voice seems to be at it's pinnacle, but still isn't ready to drop. Froberg once again proves his unmatched power in the symphonic prog genre. Excellent performance from Froberg.

Tomas Bodin has done quite possibly his greatest Flower Kings performance. Not that Bodin's work has been subpar before, but on Pardox Hotel, Bodin has chosen a wiser selection of synths, and shows more skills as a pianist. From the opening epic track Monsters and Men to the album's closer Blue Planet, Bodin performs nothing short of keyboard perfection. It's likely that Bodin's latest solo album I AM has helped him mature musically. I never remember being so impressed with Bodin's performance on previous Flower Kings albums.

Jonas Reingold is one of my top three bassists of any musical genre. You can almost expect what I'm going to say here. Yeah, Reingold's performance is top notch. Like the rest of the band Reingold seems to play more of a supporting role this time. The wanky jazz runs are still in Reingold's performance, but they are more effectively used on this album. Rather than near randomization of these runs, Reingold places them in more musically effective places. Rather than the band going tacet and Reingold fills some space, Reingold is able to mix these arpeggios in with the rest of the band playing. An excellent but more tasteful approach by Reingold this time.

Now we come to new drumer Marcus Liliequist. Liliequist has gained favor of The Flower Kings fans by playing not only on Stolt's latest solo album Wallstreet Voodoo, but also Bodin's solo album I Am. Liliequist is the young one of the bunch (25), but he lacks no skill to play with these great musicans. Liliequist is dead on every beat and fill of this album, an improvement over former drummer and slight slacker Zoltan Csorsz.

The production as always is top notch. I don't have to tell Flower Kings fans that the drums are clear and articulate, the bass is prominent and clean, the guitars are bluesy with multiple distortion and clean tones, the vocals are clear and perfectly harmonized, but I do have to say the keyboard synths are much better than previous albums. Especially the piano synths, they sound incredibly authentic. Paradox Hotel is a definate winner, five stars.

Review by King of Loss
5 stars Ahhh, the new Flower Kings album.. Probably the best album this year. (I'm 100% sure of that)

Being a hardcore Flower Kings fan, Paradox Hotel was really a boost in my confidence. Adam & Eve was of course good for 2004, but it really did not boost my hopes up. It was great at the beginning and just ran out of steam after I listened to it about 50 times. (That means its still very good, just not quite as good anymore)

In the album Paradox Hotel, we see things change quite a bit. The lack of Daniel Gildenlow, who was fired for his disappreciation at the negative over-protection that the US authorities had for the States, so there goes Daniel.. The music, ahhh... reminds me a lot of new beginnings for The Flower Kings. The new beginning for the Flower Kings, sounds weird doesn't it? This is the album where The Flower Kings brings new dimensions into their music with different and not so complex songs like Paradox Hotel, Hit Me with a hit, also blending traditonal Symphonic Prog songs like Monsters and Men and the amazing Monster Within-like Minor Giant steps. (Probably my favorite TFK song since The Truth Will Set You Free)

Bodin and Froberg actually add their pens onto this album, but I must admit, Roine did the better writing.

The poetry that Roine and co. writes is of epic proportion. This album is by far one of the most complete The Flower Kings album and it was recorded in a very short amount of time. They coulda just recorded it live and it could have been just as good.

Recommended for all fans of Prog, especially ones who worship Modern Symphonic Prog.

Review by hdfisch
3 stars Musical taste and preferences are changing with time and so are my reviews for FloKi albums. I happen to like very much their mainly "regressive" or retro kind of style. But after listening to nine studio outputs of this band, four of them being 2 CD sets with tracks made following more or less the same principle I just can say: Mr. Stolt, hold on, it's enough, just relax and take a rest of a couple of years. Maybe this helps to bring a few fresh musical ideas to your mind. I wouldn't say that "Paradox Hotel" is a bad album. Not at all, but it's just another solid mediocre one from them.

The 21-minute epic song "Monsters & Men" is just (overtly) long but not necessarily good for that reason. It sounds at least to parts very constructed, in a way boring though having a couple of nice sections. There's one weak point in their music becoming at least to me more and more obvious that are the heavily Jon Anderson-inspired spiritual lyrics appearing almost hokey for my taste. And referring to the music I've got to say as much as I like the old Yes-Crimson-Genesis stuff I prefer to listen to the originals from that time and don't have a need for a copy of this style over and over again.

I'm not going into detail for every individual song of this album since this has been done already quite excellent in previous reviews. Fans of Retro-Prog will certainly love it and so will any hardcore fan of the band what is well reflected by the high ratings here. But on the other hand there's isn't anything on there which can fascinate someone listening to a broad spectrum of music and always looking for real progressive music (in the literal sense) like me. So I'm almost seduced to give it "For fans/collectors only" - rating but this would raise the question whether most of their records (apart of "Unfold The Future" which was quite experimental) would not deserve that. And since it's really a solid work and at least for the proned listener an enjoyable album I'll give it 3 stars (good, but really not essential).

I'm becoming more and more convinced that for any Prog lover who isn't a TFK-fan in particular it's more than enough to have two studio and one live record from them. I'd like to recommend Space Revolver, Unfold The Future and Meet The Flower Kings, possibly Retropolis for fans of Retro-Prog.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars An Album Difficult To Digest

Phew ...Having spun the CD eleven times I could finally digest the album in its entirety. Well, this is definitely one of prog albums that have taken a very long time for me to digest. It reminds me to the days when I first listened to YES "Relayer" and "Tales From Topographic Ocean" that took me a relatively long period to fully understand the music. But, the challenge I'm facing now is totally different when it was 35 years ago when not so many prog albums releases. Currently, I have a stack of CDs ready to digest as well. So I got to "conquer" this "Paradox Hotel" before I move on to another prog CD. I almost gave up at 7th spin because so far I have implemented a "policy" to enjoy prog music by spin number 8. Even when I reached 8th I still could not understand what the band is trying to do with this latest release. So I did some variations by playing CDs of Van Halen (who says that I'm only enjoying prog CDs?), Roine Stolt "Wallstreet Voodoo", The Flower Kings "Stardust We Are", Riverside "Out of Myself". I broke my rule and went ahead with another try before deciding to resell the CD. Spin number 9, nothing happen, 10 still nothing happen even though I could grab a bit.

The key is to conquer "Monsters and Men"

Since day one I spun the CD I knew the main problem: it was track number two "Monsters and Men" which presumably serves as opening track as track 1 "Check In" is basically a narration. I guess if the band did not put this "tough" song as opening, I probably could digest the music quicker. Say, instead putting track 4 "Hit Me With A Hit" as opener (track 2) I were pretty damn sure that I could nod my head right away at first spin. That's for sure. But it's not the case because the band has conceptualized the story started off with "Monsters and Men" which unfortunately offers a music that I could not understand at all. For this, I have to put all my due respect on the band's creative piece. Or, probably Bodin and Stolt tried to test our limit as prog lovers into how far we could reach the unreachable. Oh yes, this track is very very difficult to understand because in terms of structure and notes chosen, they are not something that I could easily emulate. Unpredictable - that's probably the correct term to use. It starts off with piano touch that I'm not familiar at all with the notes used followed with weird mellotron sound and marching drums. In a way it reminds me to YES's Mind Drive (but only on the marching drums, not the composition). When all instruments form the music in a flow that I could not predict, it confused me further. Even when the vocal part enters the music, I still could not understand it. When I continued to other tracks, I could see the beauty of the composition but I still got stuck with track no. 2 "Monsters and Men".

At 11th Spin ...

When I reached 11th spin, I said "Yes!" to myself as now I could fully enjoy "Monsters and Men" really well and I admire the tight composition despite no memorable melodies produced by this track. How did I conquer this track? It's basically I let my mind and my ears being totally open with no expectations at all on how the music should sound nicely to my ears. By doing so, starting from spin number 8 (I think), it grew on me and I could finally enjoy track 2 in its entirety at 11th spin. And it's true, after I could accept track 2, the rest sounded very easy to digest - nothing compares to track 2 in terms of complexity and weird melodies. Track 2 is an epic with three major movements with transitions among movements are done excellently through relatively long instrumental. As a matter of comparison, "Monsters and Men" is similar with what I experienced the first time enjoying YES "Gates of Delirium" which at that time I was not familiar at all with the melody that sounded weird to my ears.

Great Music, Great Musicianship

Once I could enjoy track two, I could then see the overall music theme that connects one track to another from disk one to disk two. The music flows wonderfully from opening to end with various styles and tempo changes. The composition and songwriting are very tight and powerful, successfully adding up the album into a cohesive whole.

I'm not gonna review on track by track basis but I need to emphasize that track number 8 "Self-Consuming Fire" is a killer! Its melody is truly wonderful. The music starts off wonderfully with Stolt and Hasse nylon string acoustic guitar after the ambient end of "Bavarian Skies". Stolt sings wholeheartedly with powerful voice while Hasse also plays percussion in addition to nylon string guitar. The opening part reminds me to STING's "The Shape of My Heart" (oops! This is not prog music, but I listen to it as well - what's wrong?) in terms of nuance but "Self-Consuming Fire" is much darker. The use of mellotron-string has enriched the dark nuance. Oh .. the music flows wonderfully in medium tempo with a bit of jazz and bluesy style. I enjoy very much when Stolt sighs "Ah ..ah ..ah ..etc.". So wonderful! The interlude part with rocking guitar solo (reminiscent of classic rock music) makes the music much powerful. Jonas Reingold plays his bass guitar dynamically. On "Mommy Leave The Light On" the vocal line is using a distorted distant vocal technique accompanied with mellotron sounds and guitar fills which reminds me to Hackett with Genesis.

Disk One concludes beautifully with "End on A High Note" (another excellent track). Disk Two material are generally much easier to digest compared to disk One. It starts off with paradoxical title "Minor Giant Steps" followed with mellow "Touch My Heaven" in distant vocal style. The rhythm section reminds me to the music of Peter Gabriel or Carptree. "The Unorthodox Dancing Lesson" is a nice instrumental. There is music riffs which are very similar to King Crimson (at minutes 1:00). In here you can enjoy how excellent Marcus (the new drummer) is playing his kits. The title track "Paradox Hotel" is a straight forward composition.

Overall, this is a great music with great musicianship. I urge you to own this album. If you find problems to accept the music, you might need to follow my path as I mentioned above with patience and open mind. Let the music flows - don't expect the music "should be" like this or like that. Especially, don't play around with the melody. The Flower Kings has pushed the envelope further, to create music beyond what the have done so far. Oh by the way, the sonic quality is excellent. Cover art (by Andres Valle) and CD package are great - really prog package! The album is produced by Roine Stolt and assisted by Tomas Bodin. Roine Stolt is a genius! On the basis of this album and Roine's last solo album, I decide myself being the fan of The Flower Kings. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by kunangkunangku
4 stars There are times when we sense a great album almost instantly but we can definitely say the word “amazing”, “marvelous”, "masterpiece", whatever, only after dig harder into it. We may consider it a tough item. The latest output of Swedish progressive rock giant The Flower Kings is an example. The opening track, a 21-plus-minute epic "Monsters & Men", contains snippets of gorgeous melodies, quick-change tempo, varies styles, keyboards playing that display accuracy and prowess, and killer guitar solo, but it doesn't instantly bring the listeners to the destination expected in the first place. We need to muster the concentration required to listen to the song, and ultimately the album in its entirety, for several spins before a "click" can be reached.

That sounds pretty much The Flower Kings' typical albums, indeed. However, in this point in time, the band 10th studio offering (a double album, again!) has more than just its hard-to-digest materials: it also strengthening the band's position as a group who really deserves to be highly praised -- one of the greatests in its genre since early 1990s. This album neatly packed many strong materials in terms of sound, instrumentation, dynamic and arrangement; all of them make up the unique form of music. It's the kind of cuisine we wouldn't find in every restaurant.

While naming individual remarkable songs is somewhat futile, it's safe to mention there are stuff that remind us of 1970s giants such as Yes, Pink Floyd, Gentle Giant and King Crimson. All of them are presented with a different musical recipe, though. And with this, frontman-cum-guitarist Roine Stolt lead his band cruising enthusiastically into human existence in a world he refer to as a hotel. “We are only guests here; we can't take much with us. We check in, we use the hotel bar, pay the bill – you get nothing for free – and then leave again sometime”, Stolt explains the concept.

An interesting theme, a wonderful music. Add with the sleek production, we have enough reasons to praise this album and put it in the same rank with the bests from The Flower Kings catalogue.

Review by lor68
3 stars Sorry but what's all the fuss about it?! Ok, some instrumental passages are well performed and also mixed in a remarkable way; nevertheless the present album is a bit disappointing, lacking of immagination and almost emulating - for instance - the melodies of Peter Gabriel (listen to "Jealousy") or those ones in the vein of Yes (listen to "Hit Me With A Hit")...if you start listening to the first song of disc 2 you receive the same impression as above, because their poor music ideas reach the sense of tiredness ( like in the second track of disc 2 entitled "Touch My Heaven")...anyway, except for such major defects , you can discover a few interesting features within ,regarding the harmony, as this latter is mainly composed by Roine Stolte - even though He sometimes plays some passages which could be dedicated to King Crimson (his citation regarding "Larks tongue in Aspic" in the tune "The Unorthodox Dancinglesson" is evident and it's a bit disturbing me, cause the intro of this song finally seems an original compostion by Roine himself!!...): "Life Will Kill You" is a typical example, but at the end you could prefer the soft and pleasant approach of "Man Of The World" or once again the good job at the keyboards of "Pioneers Of Aviation" (coming back to disc 1), which is worth checking out at least... and then?...Is it enough? I don't know, but at the end you could erase an half star from the total score.
Review by Tarcisio Moura
2 stars Well, I musty say I liked this album very much when I first heard it. Like all TFK albums, it seems that they can´t really release a bad CD. They are simply too talented for that. But it does not mean they are all masterpieces either. Paradox Hotel is clearly an album without focus, ragged and lacks power. Individually, the songs, except for the inevitable filler stuff, are quite good. But surely they lack some kind of spark. This is particularly true with the two epics, which seemed to be written mostly for the sake of it.

The line up changes also did some harm. Founder member Hasse Brunnisson plays only on a couple of tracks and new drummer Marcus Liliequist is good, but not par to his predecessors. Also missing is Daniel Gildenlow, but, considering his busy work schedule with Pain Of Salvation and also with Transatlantic, that was to be expected.

The album seems a bit forced in some aspects too. Almost like they decided to prove they are really a ´rock´ band, with silly tracks like Life Will Kill You and the title track. Fortunately those are not the majority here.

If you´re a Flower King fan, go for it. It has a fair amount of decent songs on it and their musicianship is as awesome as ever. However, this is not for the newbie. It is a transitional album that will satisfy only the devoted fan, who has bought all their major albums already and want to get their latest stuff too,no matter what. Compared to much stuff that´s being released nowadays I think Paradox Hotel is still a strong effort. But when you put it side by side with their best work, I´m afraid this one suffers a lot. Clearly, they were not in their prime.

Rating: Something between 2 and 2,5 stars really.

Review by The Wizard
1 stars I purchased Paradox Hotel expecting some well made symphonic prog that paid homage to the classic progressive rock acts of the 70's like Yes, Gentle Giant, King Crimson and Genesis. I understood that the music of The Flower Kings was nothing original, this was something that I didn't mind. As long as it was good music that entertained me I would be satisfied. Unfortunately Paradox Hotel does not offer that. The album is bland, uninspired, and just plain weak. It does nothing to really provoke any emotional reaction or even inspire any thought. They're basically doing a tribute act to prog act rock, but writing their own songs and ultimately failing to live up to the standards of the prog greats of the 70's.

The music won't make you feel or think or anything of the sort. It's just there, it exist and does nothing but exist. I never really found a moment in the album where I thought "that's a cool melody" or "that's a great composition". I tried to listen, take in what the album offered but all I could do was hear. There's really nothing to listen for. There's no thing offered by this album. Parts of it are catchy but they just get lost in endless noodling.

Some songs on this album would make wonderful pop songs, something Mr. Stolt should do instead. 'Hit Me with a Hit' and 'Minor Giant Steps' have vocals hooks and choruses that could make perfect pop songs. But they only last little but, to be drowned in twiddly pseudo-prog instrumental sections. It's basically a great song ruined by mindless noodling that poorly imitates King Crimson or Gentle Giant and atmospheric sections that lack any true atmosphere. The skills of the musicians is great. They play fast and complex stuff with ease. But does that really matter if the stuff your playing is poorly written and completely dry, then does that even matter? Good musician ship is about being able to use your skills to express yourself, and Stolt and his friends have nothing to express.

Maybe it's because of the flat production that everything on this album sounds so, well, lame. Maybe that's why the 'atmospheric' sections sound like the band endless meandering, and when they attempt to 'rock' it sounds so flat, lacking any youthful energy. Maybe that's why parts of the album sound like plain adult contemporary. Again, like musicianship, production should be used to express something. Too bad the band has nothing to express.

'Monsters and Men' is yet another passionless piece of music like everything else on the album, except there is no catchy pop song under the mindless twiddly parts. The whole thing is just a bunch of references to classic prog with no flow or real point. It's like they recorded something , decided the album needed an epic to be a true prog album, so they added various bull[&*!#]. Don't expect a satisfying grandiose epic; just something that tries and fails to be grandiose and doesn't even care about being satisfying. The only difference between Monsters and Men and the rest of album is that parts of this album have those tasty pop tunes hidden underneath, but unfortunately suffocated.

Paradox Hotel does not pay homage to the classic artist of, it's embarrassingly imitates them. The biggest problem with the album is not the endless references to classic prog we have all heard, it's that it's simply a bad album. It's flat and uninspired and shows a band that has forgot that songwriting comes first. Forget about Paradox Hotel and go buy a classic prog album instead. You'll actually get something out of it other than disappointment.

Review by TRoTZ
2 stars Well, in concern to this album, I have few to add to what official prog reviewer Trickster F. said in his review. Once more, I would be embaraced if I had to show someone this album as an exemplification of modern progressive rock. Honestly what would that person think? I would bet that person would be very disappointed.

More again, he/she would meet a collection of cliches of 70's classics, with some uninspired back arrangements, which at times, can be ridiculous and completely out-of-date. Or could even laugh at your face with the unfashioned 80's-like, even nauseating, progressive pop- tunes. The most dramatic example is "Lucy had a Dream" in which its "fantasmagoric" video- game backgrounds and the dramatic lyrics discredit completely the tune. In fact, lyrics are other issue of the vast "completely out-of-date list". And when the band tries to make something different, the result can be the embarassing "Unorthodox Dancinglesson" on disc 2. The band seems to like to prolong to the exhaustion their poor compositions, like the starter "Monsters and Men" which has a tremendous poor structure for a 20 minutes song, it is few more than a collection of piano/organ/guitar/voice solos. In fact, what could we say about Flower Kings was that they could master brightly complex compositions, like in Space Revolver. But even that is lost in this album. Everything seems to be so forced. The appelative soft pianos only cover the completely lack of sense of musicality the band showed in the album.

Regressive and uninspired progressive rock, only for prog purists or fans of the band.

Review by MikeEnRegalia
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I listened to this album 3 times (over a period of half a year, and the last time just a few hours before writing this), and I cannot remember any great song or melody. It's a solid effort, better than the previous album (Adam & Eve), with top musicianship, production and packaging ... but it somehow feels empty and dry. There are a few inspiring moments in some tracks - Pioneers of Aviation, End on a High Note, the title track + Blue Planet. But I only know this because I kept notes from my listening session.

Conclusion: 3 stars - a solid effort, but nothing to write home about either. I'd recommend any other TFK album instead of this one, with the exception of Adam & Eve. I hope that Roine manages to find the inspiration to write another truly great TFK album ... he is still capable of writing great music, as proven by his (non-prog) solo album "Wallstreet Voodoo", which was released just half a year before this one.

Review by progrules
5 stars There are a lot of songs on this great double album of TFK and they are very diverse in quality at least where my personal taste is concerned. So I will judge them individually without too much comment on every song. 1. Check in: short and not too intersting opening of the album, 2 stars. 2. Monsters & Men: Simple: one of the best songs EVER, incredible composition. So brilliant, especially the build up. Fantastic climax. Some of the elements in other song are brought together in this classic epic. Amazing. Can only be 5 stars. 3. Jealousy: short ballad, quite nice but nothing more. 2.5 stars 4. Hit me with a hit: common song, not too special. 3 stars 5. Pioneers of Aviation: original song, particularly in the beginning. Good, 3.5 stars. 6. Lucy had a dream: another ballad. Although TFK's ballads are ok I'm not too fond of them (just personal). 2.5 stars 7. Bavarian skies: Some strange vocals in this one. Gloomy song. 2.5 stars 8. Selfconsuming fire: this one's better. Good build up of the composition. 3.5 stars 9. Mommy leave the light on. Yet another ballad. See above. 2.5 stars 10. End on a high note. This is one of the highlights. A great varied song, TFK how I like them best. 4.5 stars

1. Minor giant steps: More or less like the previous one, only slightly less. 4 stars 2. Touch my heaven: this is my cup of tea, incredible guitarwork by Roine in the second part of the song. 5 stars 3. The onorthodox dancing lesson: strange one, not my thing. 2 stars 4. Man of the world: average song by TFK standards. Good nor bad. 3 stars 5. Life will kill you: another one like Touch my heaven, less compelling but with more spirit. 5 stars 6. The way waters are moving: simple song, not much. 2.5 stars 7. What if God's alone: best ballad, original lyrics. Makes you think. 3 stars 8. Paradox Hotel: pretty rough one for TFK standards, somewhat commercial too. 3.5 stars 9. Blue planet: nice mellow conclusion of a very diverse double album. 4 stars Since my way of judging is: when 3 or more songs are of the 5 star category it gets 5, so this gets the full 5.

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
5 stars Not that paradox at all ...

It took nearly one year and after several rounds and breaks I'm now ready for a review. First of all let me say - this is a big hand for the Hotel Paradox. I'm feeling right comfortable in here, the service is excellent. And I'm going to come back again for sure. THE FLOWER KINGS and especially Roine Stolt with his multiple side projects have had an enormous output during the last years. So one might imagine some wear marks and weaker albums. That's a great fallacy - at least for this one! The concept of 'Paradox Hotel' is thoroughly thought through. Conceived as a guest book the booklet contains nice illustrations and pictures. The songs are devided in two hotel rooms according to the two discs. Good ideas in summary! Lyrics are accessible, full of brave statements and all the other band members are involved to the songwriting process. Musically the album is pretty good with much variety during the two hours, an inspired, modern, fresh effort, sometimes retro with relations to other (symphonic) rock bands. Fröberg's vocals are a good addition and give a mellow appeal to some songs.

First we have a check-in for Room 111 and I'm only able to mention the most noticable fixtures and that's a lot, believe me. Monsters & Men is the first highlight. 'Freedom for the underdog' points out Stolt's first political message and the Kings are marching on with Mellotron in the background. A long monster epic indeed in the typical TFK mood and a mandatory Stolt solo. Tomas Bodin's various keyboard work and also some fantastic vocals are remarkable for this mid-tempo song. Hit Me With A Hit is a hit in fact with some GENESIS reminiscences. Not only musically top-notch but also a hit against the methods of the music industry. The instrumental Pioneers Of Aviation has a psychedelic startup, then changes its character to Fusion and for the rest rocks straightaway, a brilliant combination!

Lucy Had A Dream is a catchy tune, a compelling ballad about a young girl which disappeared from home. 'Is someone missing her?' - the band is spreading a very melancholic mood with electric circus keyboards. Bavarian Skies is a very ambivalent song which makes references to the fascist dictatorship in Germany. Musically not a highlight but very courageous and I hope Roine Stolt never will be told misunderstanding for his lyrics. Mommy Leave The Light On is very melancholic - no, a step further - just depressive about a child which wants to have allayed his fears. With End On A High Note we are checking out Room 111. This uptempo song rounds up the first disc with a positive flavour and Stolt's mandoline and electric guitar solos.

Then we are entering Room 222 which is even more comfortable. Lead vocals are by Hasse Fröberg. With Minor Giant Steps and nice multiple vocal parts Stolt is philosophizing a lot about the development of the human race. Touch My Heaven, written by Bodin, is about 'the white line' with a nice piano intro remembering at the DOORS 'Riders on the storm' and a great guitar solo once again. The Unorthodox Dancinglesson mutates to an eclectic King Crimson lesson, very spectacular. 'Send me over the ocean - I am lonely' is the main chorus of Man Of The World and indeed - this is a nice floating song. Life Will Kill You sounds like a hommage to TOTO collaborating with SANTANA. Carrying two faces, rocking without mercy but also switching to a latin rhythm with beautiful sparkling piano parts - bravo Hasse - another big highlight for me. With the haunting What If God Is Alone TFK are getting very melancholic once more and impressive vocals are remarkable. 'Come live in hell' - the title song Paradox Hotel serves a monster groove sowing the seeds for the gentle closer Blue Planet where Stolt again picks up the main theme of his lyrics.

Now what more is to say? I absolutely recommend to reserve a lot of time to explore this album. Its worth it. In summary including concept, lyrics and the musical output this is a masterpiece and ranks high in my collection in the meantime.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars Since their very early days back in their world of adventures, "TFK" has been playing the same sort of music. Fully inspired by "Yes" and "Crimson". At times with skills and inspiration from their debut album up to "Stardust We Are". Later on, a good studio album will be released as well ("The Rainmaker ", "Unfold The Future") and a good live one as well ("Meet TFK").

I am not fully passionate with "TFK" music by now, but when I discovered their work some four years ago I was really charmed. By now, I consider them as a good band, but bu no means a trend-setter.

"TFK" will even limit the music lenght of this double CD set to "only" just over two hours. With some goods and some poor songs. A song like "Hit Me With A Hit" is a typical "TFK" song. Very nice vocal harmonies, fully "Yes" style.

Fillers ? Of course there are. The last four numbers of CD 1 are not really great. "Bavarian Skies" being the worse while "Mommy Leave The Light On" won't be remembered either as a fantastic song. But even if "Selfconsuming Fire" has a weak start, Roine performs a brilliant guitar solo in the middle part. I have been used to more fillers than that on most of the "TFK" albums. Of course the last one of this first CD( Room 111) is probably not well titled ("End On A High Note"). And yes, I quite like the epic song : "Monsters And Men". No novelty here, but a good and melodic work. All the "TFK" clichés can be found here but IMO it is not boring at all. Even its lenght is not a handicap. The highlight of this album.

Since "TFK" has always produced lenghty albums (being single or double ones), there is always a chance that the second disc would be "fillers" oriented. But "Minor Giant Steps" is another of the pleasant songs from "Paradox Hotel". A very nice and fully symphonic classic "TFK" song as "Touch My Heaven" whose jazzy and tranquil mood will be illuminated with a fantastic guitar break, full of emotion. I like it very much. A second highlight.

The instrumental "Unorthodox Dancinglesson" is weaker. Fully Crimson-esque : repetitive riff and some improv. A feeling of "déjŕ vu", since the band has produced quite a few of this genre. Not a filler but just average. But it is followed with a very melodic song; full of poetry and feeling. "Man Of The World" is indeed a very good song. On the mellow side but not only. Great vocal harmonies.

Some harder notes with "Life Will Kill You" which is not the best number out there. The hardness will be smoothen by "The Way The Waters Are Moving" a short and soft ballad. A bit flat and dull to be honest. The title track is a filler as well. Dull and noisy. Useless. Another one of my faves.

To summarize my feeling, I would say that this work is above average the standard "TFK" production. OK, it is somewhat lenghty, but that's another of their characteristics. I have always believed that if they would cut their albums by some thirty per cent, the appreciation of their work would have been slightly higher (but this is a personal feeling).

It is a good album and as such I will rate it with three stars.

Review by fuxi
2 stars PARADOX HOTEL is one of those double albums which contain a few nice ideas but, after a while, pretty much all of them are spoiled. Take the 22-minute opening epic, 'Monsters and Men'. The first fifteen minutes or so sound quite exciting, and Roine Stolt even treats us to one of his best ever guitar solos, but then the music starts to drag, and the thing ends not with a bang but with a whimper. Same problem with the twelve-minute 'Minor Giant Steps', the opening tune of the second disc: optimistic symphonic pop with glorious church organ outbursts - but the middle section is totally forgettable.

At the same time, one of the FK's most serious problems is that they sound oh so earnest, well-intentioned, over-emphatic... Supposedly sensitive ditties like 'Mummy Leave the Light On' don't make this listener feel anything; they just get on his nerves. 'Bavarian Skies' must be the most superfluous anti-Hitler ballad ever; as soon as you consider how Tom Waits or Randy Newman might treat this kind of subject, you realise Roine Stolt has a LOT to learn about singing-songwriting. What on earth is the point of 'The Unorthodox Dancing Lesson'? It just sounds like a totally superfluous attempt to rewrite 'Larks' Tongues in Aspic Part Two'.... 'Man of the World' sounds like classic Yes performing a track by U2 and will satisfy admirers of neither band. By 'What if God is Alone' (the 7th track on the second disc) the music has become so portentous the listener switches off altogether.

Fortunately, there are a few points of light. 'Jealousy', on the first disc, has a lovely romantic melody. 'Pioneers of Aviation' is a soaring instrumental, which makes me wish the Flower Kings would drop the vocals altogether. 'End on a High Note' sounds fairly uplifting, and 'Blue Planet' is a charming ballad with interesting developments on church organ. All in all, there must be about 45 minutes of truly enjoyable music on the entire double album. Where are the days bands had outside producers to guide them?

Review by The Pessimist
3 stars 1. Check In (1:37) 2. Monsters & Men (21:21) 3. Jealousy (3:22) 4. Hit Me With A Hit (5:32) 5. Pioneers Of Aviation (7:49) 6. Lucy Had A Dream (5:28) 7. Bavarian Skies (6:34) 8. Selfconsuming Fire (5:49) 9. Mommy Leave The Light On (4:38) 10. End On A High Note (10:43)

1. Minor Giant Steps (12:12) 2. Touch My Heaven (6:08) 3. The Unorthodox Dancinglesson (5:24) 4. Man Of The World (5:55) 5. Life Will Kill You (7:03) 6. The Way The Waters Are Moving (3:12) 7. What If God Is Alone (6:58) 8. Paradox Hotel (6:29) 9. Blue Planet (9:42)

Not a very good concept, I must add, but i will be judging the album on musical content, not lyrical.

Highlights of the album would be about ten of the songs out of 19, so it's not bad going. The rest are either pointless or average prog songs. The rating system goes as follows:

1. Check In - Pointless really. Not a song - 1/5 2. Monsters & Men - Great song with some fantastic guitar work, one of FK's best work, extremely melodic in every way - 5/5 3. Jealousy - Another pointless waste - 1/5 4. Hit Me With A Hit - Stunning single from TFK, one of my favourite listens. A nice 9/8 riff as well - 4/5 5. Pioneers Of Aviation - Great follow up to HMWAH. Reminds me a lot of Camel with the 6/8 feel - 4/5 6. Lucy Had A Dream - The best Bach-like keyboard melody I've heard in years! one of my favourites of the album - 5/5 7. Bavarian Skies - Rubbish, I have to say - 1/5 8. Selfconsuming Fire - Another of my album favourites, not quite masterpiece though and slightly unoriginal - 4/5 9. Mommy Leave The Light On - OK I guess - 2/5 10. End On A High Note - Another just good song. Worth a listen however - 3/5

1. Minor Giant Steps - HAHA! one of my favourite FK songs, masterpiece, Stolt at his songwriting best - 5/5 2. Touch My Heaven - Very Floyd. Great blues song with some incredibly emotional guitar playing and atmospheric keyboards and vocals - 5/5 3. The Unorthodox Dancinglesson - Average prog song with unusual time signatures. A bit unbearable to listen to - 2/5 4. Man Of The World - Another great single by the FK - 4/5 5. Life Will Kill You - Very listenable heavy prog song, slightly nostalgic of Whitesnake - 5/5 6. The Way The Waters Are Moving - Rather pointless ballad - 2/5 7. What If God Is Alone - Not so pointless ballad with a 5/4 feel. Very moving with cheesy lyrics - 4/5 8. Paradox Hotel - Average single with a very embarassing riff, not prog at all - 3/5 9. Blue Planet - An excellent ending, some very good progressive moments that remind me of Yes's Awaken - 5/5

Overall, 3.5 / 5, good with not so good concept. Non-essential but has some nice ideas.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars THE FLOWER KINGS fourth double album is a concept album called "Paradox Hotel". The hotel really represents our lives, in that we check in(birth) stay for a while(life) then check out(die). We never see the hotel manager(God) but assume he's looking after the hotel so that it runs properly.The first thing to know about the band on this album is that Daniel Gildenlow has left along with drummer Zoltan Csorsz. As for the music it isn't nearly as complex or dark as "Adam & Eve", in fact this is very laid back for the most part with guitar, drums and bass often taking a back seat. Lots of mellotron, reserved vocals and harmonies on this one. I still really liked the first disc a lot, feeling it was a solid 4 stars, but the second disc brought the rating down for me even though my favourite song on the album "Life Will Kill You" is on it.

Some of the highlights for me were "Hit Me With A Hit" an uptempo tune with vocals and great bass lines early. It settles right down 2 1/2 minutes. I really like this section as drums, bass and mellotron create an awesome sound as angular guitar melodies play overtop. Full sound returns 2 minutes later. "Pioneers Of Aviation" is an instrumental that opens with guitar and pipe organ that builds. It turns spacey until the drums and aggressive guitar come in after 2 minutes. An incredible uptempo melody follows that has a slight Celtic(IONA) flavour to it. Pipe organ late. "Lucy Had A Dream" is mellow with reserved vocals to open. The lyrics are quite moving with some cool sounding guitar. It ends with this hilarious pretend add for an airline. "Bavarian Skies" is creepy in more ways than one, but it is truly brilliant. Haunting mellotron and piano provide the background to the spoken vocals. I like the female vocal melodies to end it. "Self-Consuming Fire" features intricate and beautiful acoustic guitar melodies. Reserved vocals come in and mellotron. Nice. The sound gets fuller 1 1/2 minutes until it's full after 2 minutes. Scorching guitar 3 minutes in. Fantastic tune. "Mommy Leave The Light On" opens with gentle guitar as vocals come in softly. Mellotron floats in. This is so heavenly. How emotional is this though. Gulp. The three tracks I didn't metion(not counting the brief intro song) are all good as well, making the first disc a 4.5 star rating.

The second disc(like the first one) opens with the longest song on their respective sides, and both don't do a lot for me even though I do like them. "Touch My Heaven" is ok, but the guitar solo is excellent and a highlight on the album. I do like the experimental side of "The Unorthodox Dancinglesson". "Life Will Kill You" opens with a spacey atmosphere before the guitar comes in sounding amazing. Vocal melodies join in as drums build. Guitar cranks out some great sounds. There is some ripping organ and killer guitar on this one. One of my favourite FLOWER KING songs of all time!

I really wish i could give this 4 stars because there are so many great tunes, but there are also many I can't get into on the second disc. If I could pick out the songs I like to make this a single disc it would be 4.5-5 stars. So yes, I do still recommend it to those who want to hear some great tunes. 3.5 stars.

Review by The Truth
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is the first album by the amazing Swedish rock band led by veteran guitarist Roine Stolt that I acquired and boy am I glad I did! Now I'm hooked to this band! Being a fan of the classics I didn't listen to much new prog at the time but this band caught my ears and made me feel comfortable buying more newer prog. Listening to their music I find that they sound very much like seventies prog almost a mix between Queen, Yes, and Pink Floyd yet they have their own distinctive sound. 4.2 stars for this one. Although consisting mainly of good tracks there are some that are just thrown in there such as Bavarian Skies and the seemingly pointless introduction Check In. Lucy Had a Dream is a nice song which goes to show you that not all good guitar riffs have been stolen. The slow-to- start What If God Is Alone is a good song and Mommy Leave the Light On sounds like something Roger Waters would have written. The epic track, Monsters and Men is one of the best tracks they've ever released sounding like a Yes epic such as Gates of Delirium and Pink Floyd epic such as Echoes at the same time. The filler (which it is filled with) is actually decent filler so it doesn't drag much.

All-in-all this is a very well put together album. (Although, what up with the artwork?)

EDIT 7/20/2011:

Oh my, how the tables have turned.

Although at times I'm proud of my changing tastes, it's albums like these that it makes me sad. I still love Paradox Hotel, I really do, moments of this record are absolute genius. But I have to admit, more than half of the double album is filler.

The good news is, when it's good, it's REALLY good. The long tracks especially really are The Flower Kings at their absolute best but songs like Hit Me With a Hit really bring down the overall quality.

I'll forever love you Flower Kings, 3 stars.

Review by The Quiet One
4 stars ''You're stuck in between the flower kings and your dreams''

Paradox Hotel is the follow-up to Adam & Eve, which was the album that left-behind the jazzy roots: Ulf's sax and Jonas' fretless bass. With Paradox Hotel, The Flower Kings confirm they'll leave those influences behind for now. On the bright side, Paradox Hotel is a full-blown Symphonic Prog album, while Adam & Eve wasn't, or maybe it was, but it headed sometimes way too dark mood-wise or sometimes way too soft, in which it didn't make it flow that well. Also another worthy mention, is the consistency of this double-album, seems like Adam & Eve and Space Revolver joined together to make a double-album, consistent-wise, however stylisticallyt this and Adam & Eve doesn't have anything to do with Space Revolver

About the music, I can tell you there are the obvious stand-outs, which are really worthy songs for any Modern Prog fan, and then there's the enjoyable ''short''(for Flower Kings standards) tunes.

Onto the standouts: one of them is Monsters & Men, this is one of those epics which are really hard to digest from the first listens, since the melodies are not instantly grabbing, nor the solos, and much less the whole composition. However with many close-payed-attention listens, you'll be understanding the song more and more. The composition itself, still remains somewhat of a puzzle for me, some very gentle parts which flow well with some more melodic or heavy ones, but then there's the complex sections which for me are out-of-place. However the main melody, like in every Flower Kings epic, it's fantastic, and develops very well, through the moog and/or guitar. The musicianship, as always, is outstanding, however there's a notable main character in this epic, this is Tomas Bodin with his excellent piano playing, barely heard before, and his always stunning moog solos.

Another highlight is End on a High Note, compared to Monsters & Men, this seems like pop, haha, though it's not. It's much more accesible; the melodies are catchy, there's much less mood changes, it's mainly soft lead by a up-lifting acoustic guitar and sweet vocals. I find it wonderful allthrough, though it's definitely the weakest and less complex of the standouts.

The opener of Disc 2, Minor Giant Steps, is another highlight, and what a highlight it is! Flower Kings fans must check this song out immediately if they haven't. It grabs you instantly, with it's fantastic composition and amazing musicianship, it's definitely a killer ''short'' Symphonic piece. Full of modern moog, resembling the giants as Rick Wakeman, as well as the mellotron, ala Tony Banks, as well as showing the capabilities of new drummer Marcus Liliequist. If you want to know how The Flower Kings sound, this song is one of them to check out first, even if it's not their best.

The last standout, is the closer of the album, Blue Planet. More rewarding than End on a High Note, though by no means in the complexity heights of the other 2. However, the other 2(Monsters & Men and Minor Giant Steps) don't give you such a delightful listen like this one does. Blue Planet is like a 'overture', re-taking the main melodies from the album and twisting them a bit, however by definition a 'overture' is completely instrumental, in which this is not the case, as well as not being the case of opening the album, the contrary, closing it. Blue Planet is a fantastic closer, quite melancholic in bits, as well as being a great summary from the best of this album.

Anyways, the album is not only composed by those 4 highlights, the rest of the album is essential to make this album what it's worth, with songs like Life Will Kill You and Paradox Hotel being straight-forward rock songs with some slight-prog leanings to make the album more enjoyable and digestable allthrough, then there are 2 more Prog tracks, which are excellent, these are Pioneers of Aviationm with some outstanding moog work, and then there's Unorthodox Dancinglesson with it's, sort-of, dissonant melodies making it a quite complex and weird instrumental for The Flower Kings.

Paradox Hotel is the first Flower Kings double-album which is enjoyable all-through, despite having less quantity of extraordinary compositions like in other double-albums, this stand-outs excellent due to it's consistency, as well as for the mentioned standouts which are very rewarding.

Highly recomended for Modern Symphonic Prog fans.

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars As with every album from The Flower Kings, there's a lot of excellent material present, but there's an awful lot that really should have hit the cutting room floor. In fact, I think many songs should have been dropped and this album condensed to one amazingly outstanding disc. Honestly, if it had only consisted of "Monsters & Men," "End on a High Note," "Minor Giant Steps," "Man of the World," and "Blue Planet," it would probably be the closest thing to perfection The Flower Kings ever made- an hour of pure bliss. Instead, they release a double album with a lot of forgettable filler that makes it arduous to listen to all the way through.

"Check In" Not a song, the first 98 seconds of the album is an eccentric countdown.

"Monsters & Men" The glorious highlight of this record is no doubt the exceptionally arranged 21 minute epic. Bodin's lovely piano introduction sparkles just before a gritty steel guitar leads the rest of the band into the music. Froberg's vocals are forceful and believable as he sings some of The Flower Kings's most compelling lyrics. After an exciting instrumental section, Stolt treats listeners with his most heartfelt vocal performance. Following some great church organ, an excellent movement in 7/8 ensues, allowing Stolt to strut his guitar prowess in a wah pedal workout. The music blends soulful guitar passages with fuller visitations of the opening theme.

"Jealousy" Flowing perfectly from the piano from the previous track, Bodin plays a sparse but lovely piece that Stolt's gritty falsetto seems to tarnish.

"Hit Me With a Hit" This song blends a harder progressive rock edge with jazzier elements. The chorus is one of the more memorable points of the album, and overall, it's a lighthearted yet somewhat serious piece. Froberg does a great job on lead vocals.

"Pioneers in Aviation" The first instrumental track boasts a grand opening, full of church organ, synthesizer, and tasteful guitar. Two minutes in, it evolves into something completely different, with bulbous guitars and atmospheric sound. While not the greatest instrumental, there's certainly a lot to like about this one, including that eerie church organ conclusion.

"Lucy Had a Dream" Stolt's strange vocals and the even stranger music make this the first of several forgettable and skip-worthy tracks. Everything about this song is just ludicrous. Admittedly, the "travel advertisement" at the end is one of the funniest things I've ever heard in progressive rock music.

"Bavarian Skies" Thick vocal effects are meant to enable Stolt to evoke the voice of Hitler, but I doubt its effectiveness. The first half of the track is boring, and like "Lucy Had a Dream," this is one of those curious but unnecessary tracks.

"Selfconsuming Fire" Gorgeous classical guitar opens this piece. The Mellotron is lovely in the background, and the vocals work well here.

"Mommy Leave the Light On" Despite lovely electric guitar, this is another useless one, with Stolt trying to sing disturbing lyrics with that quaking voice of his. There's just nothing to this track that makes it interesting to me, especially musically.

"End on a High Note" The last song on the first disc does exactly what the title says. Beautiful twelve-string guitars and whistling synthesizer introduce the main theme. This is perhaps the catchiest song The Flower Kings ever made. Bodin engages in some exceptionally wild soloing over this foot tap-inducing listening experience.

"Minor Giant Steps" A happy electric guitar and sparkling synthesizer begins the second disc. "Minor Giant Steps" is a superb track in every way, and is one of my favorites from the entire work of The Flower Kings. It includes some of Bodin's finest moments, and has some great guitar work too. Terrific vocal harmonies abound throughout, with plenty of excellent melodies.

"Touch My Heaven" Yet another fairly bland song, this one has muffled drums and rather exaggerated vocals. The guitar playing is soulful, but otherwise, I don't care for this one.

"The Unorthodox Dancing Lesson" The other instrumental on the album is even more interesting than "Pioneers of Aviation." Even the title is intriguingly perfect. There's a lot of strange noises and unconventional weirdness going on, but I can take it!

"Man of the World" The best short song on the album, this piece features melodies and an exceptional structure. Reingold does have a few moments of brilliance laying down the groove as he does, but I feel like he's pushed out of the mix a bit in some parts.

"Life Will Kill You" After some disorienting panning effects, the guitar enters and builds to something initially appealing, but the verses have some strange background vocals (they sound like they're run through a wah pedal). Froberg does a great job making this a grittier song with his rock vocals.

"The Way the Waters Are Moving" Inspiring piano and Stolt's trembling voice make for a good pensive song.

"What if God is Alone" For the most part, this is a strong, gradually building song with intriguing lyrics. It's certainly not my favorite, but the guitar work at the end is wonderful.

"Paradox Hotel" The Flower Kings abandon their flowery music for a bit to produce this nasty little rocker. It's close to Alice in Chains, with heavy riffs, gritty vocals, and a catchy chorus.

"Blue Planet" A wondrous revisiting of the marvelous track "Monsters & Men," it has its own flavor, but if one didn't get enough of the lengthy piece on the first disc, this should more than satisfy. In this way, it is the perfect conclusion to the album, which unfortunately uses its last two minutes to have what seems to be an astronaut describing the Earth from space.

Review by Roland113
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars In my not so humble opinion:

Paradox Hotel by the Flower Kings is the most complete and consistent album in their long and illustrious career. There are no weak songs on either CD. The flow is well thought out and timed with a great balance of upbeat and mellow songs. As with all of the Flower Kings' CD's, the playing is impeccable and the vocal harmonies are among their best. This is The Flower Kings at the top of their game.

Jonas Reingold uses this album to further solidify his place as one of the best modern progressive bassists and Roine Stolt continues to shine as he pulls off some beautiful solos. One interesting thought, playing the tracks in the opposite order makes a surprisingly cohesive, smooth flowing album as well. I'm guessing this is just a part of the Paradox.

My personal favorite from this album is Minor Giant Steps which is a happy mini epic and is one of my two favorite Flower Kings songs (I am the Sun being the other). Each member of the band melds together to form an almost perfect blend of their individual talents. The afore mentioned vocal harmonies are illustrated and Jonas plays an incredibly tasty run for most of the last five minutes of the song. Tomas and Roine also do a great job of trading the spotlight back and forth before both fading to allow the vocals to lead again. All in all, this is an amazing song.

Other highlights include 'Life Will Kill You' which highlights Hasse Froberg's singing and an amazingly catchy lick in the chorus by Roine. Roine's solo in this song is one of his best as well. "End on a High Note" could almost be describes as 'Minor Giant Steps' part 2, again great vocals. 'Selfconsuming Fire' is beautiful and 'Mommy Leave the Light On' is a touching song. 'Touch My Heaven' showcases another soulful Roine Stolt solo.

You can't mention a Flower King's CD without addressing the epic(s). For a change they started, rather than finished, the album off with the giant 20 minute epic 'Monsters and Men'. It's a good song with all of the tricks and turns that you'd expect from a Flower King's epic what I call the 'Supper's Ending', a term inspired by Roj M30's description of the ending of most IQ albums. I've expanded the term to include the ending to just about every Flower King epic as well.

All in all, this is a beautiful album, through and through. It's got everything you could want from the jazzy 'Unorthodox Dancing Lesson' to the flat out rock of the title track, the almost poppy 'Hit me with a Hit' to the mellow 'The Way the Waters are Moving' all summed up with the gentle closer 'Blue Planet' which thoughtfully revisits many of the album's themes.

Highly Recommended.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars Paradox Hotel was the first album by The Flower Kings that I purchased the week it was released, and, coincidentally, it was the first (and so far the only) album by them that disappointed me. Sure there are some songs here that I like, but there are quite a few that I dislike. Usually, if a song by TFK does not interest me, I can usually wait a minute or so, and it will change styles, and for the most part, change to a style that I like. Here, on the first disk, from Lucy Had A Dream, all the way to nearly the end of the disk, I find it almost unlistenable. And I understand the Europeans' infatuation with the Nazis and World War II, but I find Bavarian Skies to be borderline offensive.

That isn't to say there are no good songs on the album. It is worth hearing, just for Hit Me With A Hit, Pioneers In Aviation, The Unorthodox Dancing Lesson and Paradox Hotel.

But there is just too much filler for me to highly recommend the album.

2.5 stars, rounded up.

Review by lazland
4 stars To 2006, and another double album from The Flower Kings. This album, probably more than most of the others, is the reason why I have taken so long to review the band's output since buying all of their works last year. It takes a long time to not only appreciate, but also to be in a position to make an objective review.

The first thing to say is that it is a wholly symphonic album, and if you detest that, there will be nothing here for you to change your mind. For those of us who love the sub-genre, it is a real treat. Rather than attempt track by track, I will list my highlights from this ambitious work.

As ever, the album is marked by the epic tracks it contains. The first is Monsters & Men, clocking in at over 21 minutes long. This takes a great deal of listening to, and patience is hugely rewarded. There are some sublime melodic moments, interspersed with at times incredibly quiet piano, vocals, and then heavier passages. When Stolt begins his vocal contribution, I swear he has never sounded better. I love the way that the climax builds down rather than up.

Jealousy is a beautiful ballad, where Stolt's vocals & Bodin's gentle piano complement each other perfectly.

Hit Me With A Hit is an uplifting, fast tempo treat, which I believe was released as a single.

Pioneers of Aviation is one of my favourite instrumentals of all time, not just by this band. Organ has very rarely sounded better in creating a thorough wall of sound, and combined with swirling synths and tasteful guitar, these combine to produce a great opening, which then morph into an altogether trippier feel, before developing into a pure rock out. The organ solo at the end is sublime. There is no greater compliment than to describe it as Wakeman-esque.

Selfconsuming Fire has a lovely acoustic guitar to open, and there are some sensitive and fragile vocals to follow, with mellotron backing to good effect.

End On A High Note is the second track of the album over 10 minutes long, and ends CD1 in exactly the way that the song title suggests. It is an incredibly catchy song, and makes me really wish that record stations & producers entertained the thought of 10 minute singles - if this were the case, this one would be a smash hit! If you are not tapping your feet and feeling incredibly happy at this one, you are no longer alive - simple as.

Minor Giant Steps opens CD2, and this one weighs in at just over 12 minutes long. This one, again, I find very uplifting, with some fantastic guitar work especially, fun synths, great vocal harmonies, and bass lines by Reingold just to remind us all just how good he is.

Man of the World is another great catchy shorter song, at just under six minutes. This one is definitely led by Reingold's bass guitar pounding away, and is at turns amusing and uplifting.

Life Will Kill You first attracted me really because of its poignant, and ultimately true, title. This is a heavy song, very much in the mode of classic 70's heavy rock, albeit with some strange sounding vocal effects in tow.

The Way The Waters Are Moving returns us to the very simple, and very effective, combination of piano & Stolt's vocals. A lovely, moving piece of music.

What If God Is Alone has the most incredibly moving opening section, with the band seeming to yearn for the answers to the ultimate questions and dialogue they pose with this entire concept of life's cycle - thankfully, when the lyrics/vocals arrive, they don't spoil this at all. Some of the finest seven minutes of prog you will ever listen to, the ending guitar solo is to die for.

Blue Planet at just under 10 minutes closes the album in quite some style, with lyrics in the form of a commentary which reminds me a little bit of Waters alien in Amused To Death talking about the planet in the past tense, but perhaps not so scathing or bitter as that opus. The music itself brings together nicely all of the strands previously evident in the work.

As with most TFK double albums, there are undoubtedly fillers, which do distract somewhat from the excellence of all else, including, I am afraid, for me, the title track, which strikes me as being an unnecessary harder track.

If the album were merely filled with the tracks I have discussed in detail, it would be pushing the ultimate five star rating. As it is, I feel it is a very strong four star album (4.5 stars in reality, but rounded down rather than up) and is very highly recommended to all who love that grandeur and supreme musicianship in their symphonic prog.

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Longer or short compositions, it doesn't matter. The only weaker part of this album are fillers which serves as mood setters, so it's obvious that they won't be top notch killer epic tracks (they're not supposed to be), even title track, Paradox Hotel isn't as good as the rest. Duller, more as simple Rock. When I want this, I listen Rock, not TFK. Nevertheless, it's not complete disappointment, just unusual. Music here is consistent (unlike this review) and stable. It's sad that as of mid 2010, this is the last TFK release (I would invite more). Lyrics are quite good as well. Lovely (in moster size) piece is of course Monsters and Men, but that was expected.

4(+), there are some weaker songs, but they cannot bring the strong ones down for me. Don't be mad at Flower Kings, they're just trying to accompany their great pieces by other songs. Not so epic ones, but good nevertheless.

Review by The Crow
3 stars "Paradox Hotel" could have been an excellent The Flower King's album, but it's too long and sometimes even too boring to be considered even a very good one.

The epic Monsters and Men is one of their most forgettable long songs they've ever written, and tracks like Lucy Had a Dream, Jealousy and Touch My Heaven are forgettable while other like Bavarian Skies and Mommy Leave the Light On are directly bad.

Luckily, there are also enough good moments in "Paradox Hotel" which makes this album worthy of a pair of spins, but it is so irregular and the quality is so mixed that I can't give more than three stars.

And that's a shame, because if "Paradox Hotel" was half so long and if they had rid of the bad and mediocre songs, this could have been a four star one, easily surpassing "Adam & Eve".

But sadly, that is not what happened.

Best Tracks: Pioneers of Aviation (fine instrumental) End on a High Note (the best song of the album, a lot of happy feelings mixed with splendid keyboards), Minor Giant Steps (catchy and diverse track) and What if God is Alone (beautiful lyrics and great vocal melodies)

My Rating: ***

Review by A Crimson Mellotron
3 stars If different albums represent different moments in the development of The Flower Kings, then 'Paradox Hotel' is their improvisation-meets-dreamy-soundscapes kind of release. The Swedes' ninth studio release is a striking double album, certainly one of the longest rock albums ever released, clocking in at 136 minutes, and is essentially a collection of compositions that unlike most of their other releases, features songwriting contributions by all band members. As for them, 'Paradox Hotel' sees the talents of Roine Stolt, Tomas Bodin, Jonas Reingold, Hasse Fröberg and Marcus Liliequist, in the sole time he appears behind the drum set on a TFK studio album. Hasse Bruniusson makes yet another guest appearance on one of the tracks, playing marimba and percussions.

Wandering and often meandering, also very creatively diverse, this 2006 release has gained a reputation of being one of the band's 'slower' albums, and in reality, it has many mellow, dreamy moments, definitely more than the preceding efforts of theirs, but these are evenly balanced with the more improvisational compositions, a side of the band's music that has been touched upon on 'Unfold the Future' and 'Retropolis' previously but this time TFK certainly go off the leash at full power. All this does not necessarily mean that this is a flawless album - first of all, the length of it is at least unnerving, so the average listener would insist that the music be more than excellent, should he invest the time to listen to this mammoth of an LP. Secondly, the band have obviously decided to focus on soundscapes, and sound design overall, adding many intermission-like instrumental passages that often drag the songs off for a bit too long, this is best felt on instrumentals like 'Pioneers of Aviation' or the final minutes of 'Bavarian Skies'. And finally, the big three-part 20-minute epic 'Monsters and Men' might be the most disappointing long song the band has ever recorded, as the emotional catharsis of something like 'Stardust We Are' is lacking, or the bottled-up wackiness of 'The Truth Will Set You Free', and certainly the absence of the adventurous and captivating nature of 'Love Supreme' and 'Drivers Seat' is felt.

Inasmuch as the band members have given themselves full freedom to do whatever they feel like doing (and this has resulted in them writing some of their best stuff), it has also led to an overflooding with content, and this feeling is starting to prevail around the end of disc one. Still, songs like 'Hit Me with a Hit', 'Lucy Had a Dream', 'Man of the World', 'The Unorthodox Dancing Lesson' and the title track are some of the most memorable and appealing achievements of 'Paradox Hotel', while peculiar entries like 'Bavarian Skies', 'Mommy Leave the Light On', 'Selfconsuming Fire' and 'Life Will Kill You' are a pleasant surprise to hear, as the band go to paths previously untrodden. It seems like it is the longer songs that are not contributing much to the overall better reception of this enormous album, and had it been spared of some of these, it would have probably been regarded more highly.

'Paradox Hotel' is above all challenging and just then entertaining. Sometimes it might be adventurous, sometimes it might be dull and drooling, but for the most part, it is a patience test for the listener, which does not mean it is a bad album. I believe this band is unable to release something terrible and unlistenable, yet 'Paradox Hotel' is just too long, and its lows overshadow its many highs, leaving the impression that there are better things to be found in The Flower Kings' catalogue.

Review by Warthur
3 stars After Unfold the Future and Adam and Eve left me wondering if the Flower Kings had run out of steam, it took me a long time to get around to giving Paradox Hotel a try. In retrospect, I am glad I did, because this feels like a reinvigoration of the band's approach. The band dial back from complexity for complexity's sake and are a bit less big on simply repeating ideas from 1970s prog groups, with the result that their sound ends up a touch more streamlined - they don't go full neo- prog, but if they went that much further in this direction that's where they'd end up.

The thing which stops me getting fully behind it is the same issue which affected my enjoyment of the past couple of albums - the gang just aren't that good as vocalists, and between this and some fairly risible lyrics (guys, we didn't really need a Flower Kings meditation on the rise of the Third Reich) the album ends up suffering more or less whenever someone is singing. The musical backing and instrumental sections are strong enough to salvage things in general, but it's faintly alarming that this deep into things the band still haven't figured out a little thing like "lead vocals".

Latest members reviews

4 stars 'Paradox Hotel' is the ninth studio album by The Flower Kings, released on 4 April 2006. 'Paradox Hotel' is the band's fourth double-CD. This is the only Flower Kings album to feature drummer Marcus Liliequist (who is also on the live album 'Instant Delivery'). I love all the Flower Kings drummers, ... (read more)

Report this review (#2985822) | Posted by Magog2112 | Thursday, January 25, 2024 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Well, the Flower Kings have been one of my favorite bands for about 22 years now, yet I've never felt that they produced a solid 5-star cd before this one. Over the years, they've successfully integrated 70's-style prog along with the occasional jazz fusion sequence, original and interesting composi ... (read more)

Report this review (#2442129) | Posted by Squire Jaco | Friday, August 28, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Very Mixed, but some Greats. Roine Stolt has called this TFK's White Album, and while it is not quite as varied as the WA was for the Beatles, there is here a huge range in quality just as there was in the predecessor, 'Adam and Eve'. And at two full-length CDs, this is a very long album. Thankfu ... (read more)

Report this review (#1703407) | Posted by Walkscore | Saturday, March 18, 2017 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I am relatively new to The Flower Kings, but have slowly been exploring their discography. Paradox Hotel was recommended to me as one of their better albums so after being pleasantly surprised with Desolation Rose, I grabbed this one. Paradox Hotel is a meandering affair full of social comme ... (read more)

Report this review (#1288543) | Posted by Lofcaudio | Tuesday, October 7, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars My experience with The Flower Kings' "Paradox Hotel" was a little strange one. I neede three listenings to get it. Usually I think I can rate a record after one listening. First I thought the record was too long and then I found some gems and now think almost everything is awesome. This is The ... (read more)

Report this review (#1015825) | Posted by DrömmarenAdrian | Saturday, August 10, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is the Flower Kings at their best. This record is not as overly proggy as some of their other records - although they deliver some proggy goodness in songs like Monsters and Men, Pioneers of Aviation, Minor Giant Steps, and The Unorthodox Dancing Lesson - but it is certainly ranks near the top ... (read more)

Report this review (#450477) | Posted by Biff Tannen | Friday, May 20, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Well ! An average here of 3.5 means, of course, an average of half opinions at 3 and the rest at 4... Not that simple, because there are some 5/5 and also low notes ! My first listening was... deceiving, for the very first time, for a TFK CD. Knowing it is prog means that you have to listen a ... (read more)

Report this review (#379659) | Posted by Progdaybay | Thursday, January 13, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars MONSTERS AND MEN - This track alone will get this a FIVE STARS rating. Why? Well you ignore the intro of astronauts recording - why? A clip from Fawlty Towers would have been more apt for "Check in" or a clip from "Psycho" perhaps? Anyway - The truly awesome epic is underway at CD1 track 2 and ... (read more)

Report this review (#229269) | Posted by M27Barney | Friday, July 31, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars As a long time fan of this band I was a little nervous about this album. The previous album, Adam & Eve, left me pretty much cold (I've come to appreciate it and even like much of it, but it is still probably my least favorite by the band). So I was not sure if they had reached their peak on Unf ... (read more)

Report this review (#215190) | Posted by infandous | Tuesday, May 12, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Paradox Hotel is just a mediocre album. Nothing on it really stands out to me. I found that Monsters & Men is not that great and a bit too long. If the song was shorter I might like it more. Also there is a lot of filler in this album. Many of the songs sound like they were put there to make the ... (read more)

Report this review (#142021) | Posted by TheMadCap | Thursday, October 4, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The Flower Kings at its best. This album unite all the experience of the band's 12-year-old life, mix them in that inspired mind of Ronnie, with the right help of Tomas, and spread the result in two discs, with no fillers, where the weaker parts are enviable by many other albums. Too much? Th ... (read more)

Report this review (#130322) | Posted by Proglodita | Thursday, July 26, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars "And soon you'll dine with presidents..." Wow! The Flower Kings. When I first heard the Flower Kings were going to be putting out a new album, I immediately got it ordered on the internet, and I had it within a week of its release. To be quite honest, it hasn't yet left my CD player. This was ... (read more)

Report this review (#103352) | Posted by Koopaslaya | Saturday, December 16, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The best flower kings album yet. From the first song on disc 1 to blue planet, the closing song of the album, this album is great. They continue to show their versatility and ingenuity with this album. Highlights Disc 1: Monsters and Men - Continues to get better each listen. Great opening ep ... (read more)

Report this review (#103342) | Posted by meddlehead40 | Saturday, December 16, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Even the Flower Kings have sold their soul to the neo pro movement. This album is easily their most accessible, and flat out the worst I heard of them. I don't know why they made this move but I think prog should stay prog, and should not go to the direction of pop. Probably the saddest thing ... (read more)

Report this review (#102237) | Posted by Autoband | Saturday, December 9, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is the best work the Flower Kings have ever done. I think they have reached a pinnacle and I hope they stay at this point for every album they do in the future. This album is special. For me, its an album that I can listen to over, and over, and over. A double CD, (nothing strange to TFK) th ... (read more)

Report this review (#87258) | Posted by Drew | Monday, August 14, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This realease has left me cold. Don't get me wrong folks, it's a solid album. But is it worthy to wear TFK label ? The intro is one of those things ( the whole ping pong ball thing) that has finally been over done by the band. Track # 2, MONSTERS AND MEN is very typical FK music. Nothing speci ... (read more)

Report this review (#82767) | Posted by Trafficdogg | Wednesday, July 5, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Flower Kings' latest epic 2CD set is a well packaged set, the digipak edition at least appearing in a sort of triple gatefold affair, very pleasing to the eye, I like the caricatures of the band on the cover, I know others disagree, still to the music. Starting off with Check In which is main ... (read more)

Report this review (#82654) | Posted by Gog/Magog | Tuesday, July 4, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars After a few same-sounding albums it is a treat to hear what the Flower Kings have unleashed with "Paradox Hotel". I've been a Fan of the Kings for a long time, starting with "Retropolis", the first album I heard from TFK. I loved it's playful and life affirming nature with just enough concern ... (read more)

Report this review (#79984) | Posted by x_bruce | Thursday, June 1, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Listening to prog rock for only 3 years, I admit having ignored TFK's music until 2004's "Adam and Eve". I decided to buy "Paradox Hotel" when it was released. It just doesn't leave my CD-player since. An important variety of styles is present in this LP; we go from Yes-inspired epics ( "M ... (read more)

Report this review (#79018) | Posted by Philoops | Monday, May 22, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I am one of those who use to say that TFK should better release single CD's instead of double ones, in order to avoid the filler and select only their best stuff. With that thoughts in my mind the first two listens of Paradox Hotel were, as I expected, a little hard to complete, and I initiall ... (read more)

Report this review (#78775) | Posted by eddietrooper | Friday, May 19, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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