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The Flower Kings - The Rainmaker CD (album) cover


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

3.44 | 442 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
2 stars The best simile I can use is to say this album is like a beautiful jigsaw where none of the pieces fit together. The musicians are all experts in what they bring to this effort, but the compositions neither flow with one another nor with themselves. And some things on here (like some notorious lyrics) are just plain lazy.

"Last Minute On Earth" The first of three lengthy tracks begins with throat singing, which is an odd but unique way to start. It is difficult to comment on this track because I feel it springs all over the place without any clear direction. There's a solid chorus, but that's about it. As will be a constant pleasure on this album, Jonas Reingold lays down some thick and dynamic bass riffs throughout. Unfortunately, the ending fizzles away in a bunch of directionless nonsense.

"World Without A Heart" It isn't necessary that an album begin with all guns blazing, and as strange as it may sound, I feel this soft and acoustic song might have served as a more interesting and delightful first song. It contains one of Roine Stolt's better moments as lead vocalist. Despite it's gentle simplicity, this is one of the best tracks on the album.

"Road To Sanctuary" The longest track made my ears perk up with that great organ introduction from Tomas Bodin, but the call and response nature of the vocals and music put me off. There's a lot going on in this song, and it's too bad none of it seems to fit together. The gentle classical and steel-string acoustic guitar duet is a nice change of pace from the heavier fare, however.

"The Rainmaker" Barely audible music and distant rumbling introduce this Bolero, which sounds like it would make for excellent video game music, particularly an old military real time strategy.

"City Of Angels" The third and final track over ten minutes is a wakeup call from the previous, sleep-inducing one. This is the bright-eyed band The Flower Kings usually are, full of cheerful sounds and sprightly keyboards. But the Toto-like chorus sounds like bad R&B sung by a group of people who just met. Bodin's keyboard solo is the highlight of the music, but it's just not enough to make this a standout piece of music.

"Elaine" Yes, this is the song with that god-awful line, "Here she comes again smiling like a horse." What compelled Stolt to pen such bizarre and silly similes and metaphors is beyond me, especially over such lovely music. Reingold struts his stuff throughout the instrumental section of this song, upstaging the saxophonist in a big way, and showing that he is one of the best bassists still breathing.

"Thru The Walls" Stolt's weakest vocal performance on the album, this short song is at once boring and tough to follow. The throat singing returns unexpectedly.

"Sword Of God" After a brief choral opening, the hardest track on the album explodes. It sounds like a blend between early 1990s hip hop and hard rock. Mainly, it's loud and obnoxious.

"Blessing Of A Smile" After such an irritating track, this is a great return to the majestic music the band is capable of. The keyboards move underneath the saxophone in this peaceful instrumental.

"Red Alert" This is merely a ninety-second revisiting of some earlier themes.

"Serious Dreamers" Bodin begins the final track with amazing synthesizer, but things suddenly change for the worst. Folks, this is The Flower Kings doing 1990s R&B, something that just shouldn't happen.

Epignosis | 2/5 |


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