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The Flower Kings - Space Revolver CD (album) cover


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

3.86 | 564 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars It was long ago that TFK has produced a single album. But don't worry; it will clock at the limit of the CD capacity : over seventy-six minutes. It sounds as if TFK is watching carefully how much of their music can fit on a slice of plastic. I really liked the band during their first three studio albums, but lately I was rather disappointed with their work (being studio or live).

As usual, we'll have an extremely long piece of music which is the core of this album : "I Am The Sun". It is split into two parts and is over twenty-five minutes long. There will be some good traditional TFK moments, but not too much I'm afraid in the first part. The song will change from symphonic to jazzy. Crimson will also be remembered for a while, but this is not the best part. The last portion will feature some acoustic spanish guitar and is probably the best one.

Part two obviously continues with the "Trespass" mood of the very end of part one. I can not complain about this. It is full of melody and great keyboards but I am missing the wonderful guitar play form their early work. Roine was more on the front scene, musically. Because in terms of vocals, he is more present here than ever. The finale is a beauty but lacks in passion, which was a TFK trademark up till "Stardust".

A jazzy and almost croony little number : "Dream On Dreamer". Where are you Bryan (Ferry) ? I guess we'll have to take this one as a sort of interlude for better things to come (if any). The jazz mood will also be prolonged during "Rumble Fish Twist". This one is pretty much ELP oriented especially during the intro. The fake live sound might well be the sole original idea of this track. It is really noisy for almost four minutes but for our piece of mind, it will switch to a spacey and more peaceful theme.

"Monster Within" is fully Crimson influenced. Scary and hypnotic as the master, but not as inspired (although I have never been over enthusiastic about KC).

There will be lots of theme variations (too many, actually). Little unity during this track. We'll even get some very nice musical breaks, but automatically they will be interrupted either by some noisy ones or by heavy riffs. This song is rather unpleasant to my ears (and it last for about thirteen minutes). I hope for TFK that they took pleasure in playing this song, because for me it is a complete waste. Self importance, I guess.

The Yes oriented "Chicken Farmer Song" sounds almost as a relief. At last a melodic and beautiful number like TFK was used to produce ! But the joy will be short : "Underdog" is half Celtic and half hard. A rare mix to be honest. These backing "vocals" that we could also hear in several tracks are pretty boring and annoying. The annoying feeling will disappear for the folkish "You Don't Know What You've Got" but not the boring one, I'm afraid.

The next song will be on par with the other ones but "Slave To Money" features at least a great and brilliant guitar break during the finale. It is the first one (or maybe I felt asleep) so far and the album is almost over ! What have you been doing Roine ?

As far as I am concerned, the only true TFK song is "A Kings Prayer". Full of great vocal harmonies and a wonderful melody. TFK how I like it. But it was about time ! A frenetic guitar solo will punctuate this great song. The only one of this work.

The flamboyant music of their debuts seems to belong to the past. This album holds some nice moments but there is hardly one complete song that really blows me (only two actually). Only part of songs are very good, like "I Am The Sun" (part two), the second half of "Rumble Fish Twist". But it ain't enough to make a good album.

I guess that Roine's tremendous activity with his side projects affects the songwritting of TFK material. I only hope it will get better in later releases. Two stars for this one.

ZowieZiggy | 2/5 |


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