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The Flower Kings - Retropolis CD (album) cover


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

3.75 | 568 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars I will never tire of repeating that prog isn't dead ... especially after listening to a multifaceted band like Flower Kings. A band that no lover of more historic prog-rock can help but listen to, because when they do it for the first time they will seriously regret never having done it before. In fact, these Swedes really seem to be able to revive that period with its extremely refined melodies and thanks to an attention to the arrangements never left to chance. And if that weren't enough, they also bring their own, thus managing to surprise with particular music and original tunes here and there.

This "Retropolis" can be considered (perhaps in co-ownership with the subsequent "Stardust We Are") the masterpiece of the group where everything comes in the right measure. A compact, dynamic and smooth work that does not tire even after many plays. The 11 tracks that compose it maintain a style that is always constant but without absolutely being copies of each other. The intro "Rythm Of Life" is entrusted to the noise of two players playing ping pong. A great way to introduce the record! It took a particular intro to portend how much great we will listen to and I would say that the choice was spot on! We hear the ball bounce off the table and then crash against a glass before moving on to the next track. And here is the titile-track: eleven minutes of instrumental really excellent workmanship between symphonic atmospheres generated by the mellotron, splendid guitar solos supported by a beautiful Hammond organ in the background and a beautiful percussion drumming as well as beautiful complex passages of synthesizer and Hammond! The instrumental that everyone would like! "Rythm Of The Sea" is instead suitable for those who love to get lost in the atmosphere and emotions! A delicate piece opened by a very delicate acoustic guitar, then a few splashes of synthesizer and then ample space for atmospheric and symphonic openings.

"There Is More To This World" instead has a strong rhythmic impact that gives it a lively and cheerful aspect. Opened by a nice synth passage, the track shows a particular emphasis on the Hammond organ, but it also does not give up the more atmospheric side, which emerges after the middle of the song, in the most relaxed moment. After "Romancing The City", a beautiful piano interlude, here we are in front of "The Melting Pot"; nothing to do with the famous brand of jeans, this is a delicious instrumental piece with a suggestive and relaxed atmosphere, almost jazzy, with the saxophone protagonist giving this peculiar aspect. Very night club track, I would say, but also suitable as a soundtrack for a nice moment of relaxation. "Silent Sorrow" with a jazzy rhythm (especially in the central part) and characterized by a fairly lively melody; beautiful the instrumental part, which with those complex synthesizer and guitar passages turns out to be one of the most successful moments of the disc. "The Judas Kiss" enters the head less easily, but then appreciates how much the other songs affects the instrumental passage with the hammond protagonist but the more relaxed parts are also remarkable! "Retropolis By Night" is instead a short concentrate of electronic loops that in three minutes also shows us the more modern side of the band. Then another instrumental masterpiece, "Flora Majora" Hammond parts and fine synths and quite sustained rhythm, but also the guitar parts seem to be very inspired and give good melodies. Noteworthy closing with "Road Back Home" with an excellent acoustic approach and a delicate rhythm, but also with a nice central synth solo!

Truly a noteworthy album, one of the best products progressive rock produced in the 90s! The listening advice goes above all to nostalgics of the Seventies prog but I would also give a thought to those who want to get closer to the genre and want to discover it in its classicism! Try it. It won't be easy to appreciate it immediately but I think you won't regret it afterwards!

prog_traveller!! | 4/5 |


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