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The Flower Kings

Symphonic Prog

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The Flower Kings Look at You Now album cover
3.67 | 94 ratings | 8 reviews | 16% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2023

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Beginner's Eyes (4:37)
2. The Dream (4:39)
3. Hollow Man (5:02)
4. Dr. Ribedeaux (3:04)
5. Mother Earth (4:18)
6. The Queen (5:28)
7. The Light in Your Eyes (5:48)
8. Seasons End (5:27)
9. Scars (5:29)
10. Stronghold (6:46)
11. Father Sky (3:08)
12. Day for Peace (3:14)
13. Look at You Now (11:49)

Total Time 68:49

Line-up / Musicians

- Hasse Fröberg / vocals
- Roine Stolt / vocals, guitars, keyboards, percussion
- Michael Stolt / bass, vocals, keyboards (5), guitar (5)
- Mirko Demaio / drums & percussion, keyboard (12)

- Hasse Bruniusson / percussion (3)
- Lalle Larsson / synthesizers (4,9)
- Jannica Lund / backing vocals (1,2,3,5,7,11,13)
- Marjana Semkina / vocals (12)
- Jörgen Sälde / nylon guitar (6)

Releases information

Cover: Joey Tessier
Label: InsideOut Music
Formats: CD, 2LP, Digital
September 8, 2023

Thanks to projeKct for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy THE FLOWER KINGS Look at You Now Music

THE FLOWER KINGS Look at You Now ratings distribution

(94 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(16%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (34%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

THE FLOWER KINGS Look at You Now reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by A Crimson Mellotron
3 stars The universe of The Flower Kings is limitless as it seems! I truly believe that at this point there could not ever be a bad album by this band, which for the record, has once again been reformed in a way. This time around the group is minus Zach Kamins, American keyboard player who contributed some very good sounds to the band's last couple of albums, whereas most keyboard duties are taken over by Roine Stolt himself, like in the good old days when he was basically responsible for almost everything happening on the albums (referring mostly to 'The Flower King', his solo album that spawned into the band). Jonas Reingold is now entirely replaced by no other man but Michael Stolt, the guy even provides some lead and backing vocals across the album! Then come, of course, Hasse Frobers and Mirko De Maio, the latest amazing drummer to join the ranks of the Kings, to put it plainly.

It seems incredible that the days when TFK are ardently releasing album after album every other year are back, but they have been incredibly active in the studio ever since they reunited in 2019, with this being their fourth album after the reformation of the band and sixteenth overall, a great achievement indicating the longevity and the legacy of the legendary Swedes. Truth be told, these latest albums have not been able to recapture the spark of the older releases, despite the fact that they sound extraordinarily well produced. The main reason for this could be the leaving of Tomas Bodin, their ex-keyboard maestro, or the fact that the band have been in fact trying to recapture this magical spark of the past, whereas none of their new ideas sound as revolutionary or vibrant as before.

'Look At You Now' clocks in at sixty-eight minutes in length and is comprised of ten new tracks, with the band continuing their exploration of the shorter song format, with most if not all of the songs clocking in at around five minutes. The album is packed with amazing sounds, beautiful melodies, fantastic instrumentation, all the aspects of a good TFK album. Some highlights have to be the opening track 'Beginner's Eyes', or the quite nocturnal and serene 'The Dream', quite glad they included this track on the album; 'Hollow Man' is no blunder, 'Mother Earth' sees Michael Stolt singing leads and delivering a new and interesting performance; 'Scars' and 'Stronghold' are quite enjoyable as well. The ending title track, also worth some eleven minutes of music, is a good attempt at the more epic song format the band is generally recognized for, although this one is far from the greatness of their epics of the near past. I could not really point out to any bad songs, the album as a whole is entirely enjoyable and celebratory, but the truth is that it does not bring anything new to the table. None of these last four albums now do, but this is not a problem. The band is going strong, their creative juices are flowing, and they continue to deliver great collections of songs full of flower power.

Review by kev rowland
4 stars I still remember the impact Roine Stolt's fourth solo album had on me when it was released back in 1994, but I don't think even he ever imagined that nearly 30 years on he would still be with the band who were originally formed to play that music. Hasse Fröberg (vocals) sang on that, Michael Stolt (bass, vocals, keyboards, guitar) was in the original line-up and returned a few years ago, while drummer Mirko Demaio has now been in the role for five years and the line-up is completed by keyboard player Lalle Larsson (he only plays a few tracks here) who was with Roine in Karmakanic. As for Roine, he only provides vocals, guitar, keyboards and percussion on this one.

Does Roine understand how to produce a poor album? Probably not to be fair, no matter who he is working with, but there have undoubtedly been releases which have been overlong and needed serious editing to make them more palatable. However, either side of the six-year gap he appears to have that under control, and this sits happily as a follow-on to last year's 'By Royal Decree'. Last year's? Yes, The Flower Kings are back in the groove ? remember, their first 10 studio albums were released between 1995 and 2007, then they took five years off before another two, and this is their fourth in five. There is only one other act which I can think of which is that productive, so it is no surprise that in Neal Morse, Roine found a kindred spirit. Anyone looking for something dramatically different from The Flower Kings may be disappointed, but the rest of us will not as this is yet another incredibly enjoyable release which is instantly identifiable as Roine's work without even looking at the sleeve. Great songs, performances and vocals (both lead and backing), all with the swathes of keyboards and retro sounds and styles we have come to expect? Of course.

Roine may be 68 years old, but he is showing no sign whatsoever of slowing down, and in some ways appears to be speeding up! The album may be only slightly less than 70 minutes in length, but this never feels over-long as it allows to revel in the music on offer and again be firmly in the wonderful world The Flower Kings where they continue to deliver one essential album after another.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars I got off THE FLOWER KINGS bus after their 2007 album "The Sum Of No Evil" feeling at the time that they weren't getting better and all of their albums are inconsistent. I didn't know at the time that THE FLOWER KING bus actually pulled off the road when I got off. A five year break then releasing "Banks Of Eden" their highest rated studio album on here. Some months ago as I was going through my favourites from this band I noticed the praise for "Banks Of Eden" and found someone who had it, ordered it and well as a substitute I got the cd I'm reviewing now as they didn't have it in stock anymore.

This might be my favourite cover art of 2023, it's just so vivid, so striking. The music? Not so much. It is pretty cool that three of the four were on that Roine Stolt solo album "The Flower King" from way back in 1994. The drummer is new to me and I miss Salazar and there's no Reingold sadly but hey things change. My first impression was that this record was fairly pedestrian and maybe past date. That changed after some listens but this does not standup well to their 90' music and especially "Meet The Flower Kings" the live one from 2003 my favourite. This is adult contemporary Prog and so it's going to have it's fans but I just can't get into it. Vocals seem tired whether it's Roine or Hasse especially the first two tracks.

Twelve of the first thirteen tracks are surprisingly short in the 3 to 6 plus minute range with the closer hitting 12 minutes but I'm just underwhelmed by that title track that closes this record out. My apologies to all THE FLOWER KING fans out there, I really didn't intend to check out this band in 2023 after over 15 years of passing on them. This just isn't my kind of music.

Review by Warthur
4 stars The Flower Kings, it's fair to say, are a prog institution by this point. To put it in context, it's some 29 years since they formed as the touring group for Roine Stolt's The Flower King solo album; if you jump back to 29 years before that you reach 1965, still a few years before anyone recorded anything you could plausibly call prog.

In other words, the span of time when prog was a thing but the Flower Kings didn't exist yet is now smaller than the span of time when their music has been part of the prog landscape. Are there still Yes, Genesis, and Gentle Giant touchstones in their music? Yes, of course there is, but it feels like for a while now the group have primarily been working on the basis not of "Does this sound like our influences?" and more "Is this right for a The Flower Kings track?", and generally speaking that's led to good results. Is it really retro-prog any more when the primary thing the music reminds you of is the performers' own work?

That's certainly interesting to ponder here, an album recorded with a reduced lineup due to the band's personnel shifts since By Royal Decree. Zach Kamins, who's been on keyboards since Waiting For Miracles, and longstanding bassist Jonas Reingold are out, and in fact the full-time band is as narrowed-down and lean as it's ever been, consisting just of Roine, his brother Michael, Hasse Fröberg on vocals, and Mirko Demaio on drums.

As with Roine Stolt's Manifest of an Alchemist solo album (which was arguably a "Flower Kings by other means" project, coming out under the "Roine Stolt's The Flower King" name), I'm reminded of the solo work of his Transatlantic bandmate Neal Morse (albeit there's much less of a penchant for epics here), in part because of the influences from musical theatre and gospel, in part because this largely boils down to Roine being a multi-instrumentalist and the other core members and a plethora of guests providing key backing tracks.

This go around it works, but I don't know how long it can be sustained, especially if the gang want to do much in the way of touring. It's notable that whilst the brothers Stolt handle the bulk of the keyboards in Kamins' absence, Lalle Larsson does provide synths on two tracks (Dr. Ribedeaux and Scars), both of which benefit appreciably from Lalle's touch, and Larsson has now joined the group as their full-time keyboardist, so I will be interested to hear what comes of that particular adjustment. Larsson, of course, is the keyboardist from Karmakanic, part of the Flower Kings extended family, so it's perhaps no surprise that he's able to make useful, Flower Kings-y contributions fresh out of the gate.

For the most part, the album continues the tendency in the most recent run of Flower Kings material (from the end of the 2013-2018 hiatus onwards) to focus on shorter tracks, though the closing title track breaks the 11 minute mark - the first to do so since Tower One on Desolation Rose. Perhaps a return to the epic is in the offing? We'll just have to see then - but if I "look at you now", Flower Kings, I see a group which seems to be keeping up a healthy steam of momentum.

Latest members reviews

4 stars After a long spell, I´m back to ProgArchives. I decided to start by the new Flower Kings album, Look at You Now, because I think this is really an important CD, at least for me. I must say I was not specially taken by the post Tomas Bodin FK albums . Islands (2020) for instance, is one I still f ... (read more)

Report this review (#3053869) | Posted by tmoura2000 | Wednesday, May 15, 2024 | Review Permanlink

3 stars 'Look at You Now' is the sixteenth studio album by The Flower Kings. The album opens with the upbeat track "Beginner's Eyes." The following track, "The Dream," starts subdued and progressively crescendos, while maintaining serenity. The melody during the verse of "Hollow Man" reminds me of "Sympathy ... (read more)

Report this review (#2991492) | Posted by Magog2112 | Wednesday, February 14, 2024 | Review Permanlink

4 stars If you have enjoyed the direction of the last three Flower Kings albums prior to this one, you will be quite pleased with this new offering as well. This is a natural extension of the recent previous offerings and is quite similar in style although perhaps a bit more consistent, which makes this ... (read more)

Report this review (#2958269) | Posted by SilverLight59 | Sunday, October 8, 2023 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I didn't even hesitate when giving this album a 5-star rating. This is one of the best albums from the Flower Kings out of a collection of many fine and great albums. The album presents the band at their finest. Excellent musicianship and high production values while offering up a very rejuvena ... (read more)

Report this review (#2950411) | Posted by Four Corners Guy | Saturday, September 9, 2023 | Review Permanlink

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