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The Flower Kings - Retropolis CD (album) cover


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

3.73 | 492 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars I have only got into the Flower Kings over the last year, when I picked up two cd's whilst on holiday in America. Until then, they were just a name I had heard. I now rate them very highly. The two cd's I bought then I would put in my top ten of all time - "Flower Power" and "Unfold The Future". So, when a friend of mine offered to lend me "Retropolis", I jumped at the chance, having seen some reviews, and knowing lots of their fans rated it highly. Unfortunately, I found it quite disappointing when compared to the above two. For me, it is too 'rocky' and not 'proggy' enough. Of course, there are extended passages of music, and some longish tracks, but they don't stand out to me enough. I rate Tomas Bodin's keyboard work highly, but on this he tries, I think, to be too elaborate. And Roine Stolt's guitar doesn't sound particularly inspiring here, sounding, in places, like a number of other modern rock types. There are a couple of high points, of course. This is the first album on which Hasse Froberg appears, the man with the Jon Anderson voice. And that is an important part of the sound to me. Consequently, "There Is More To This World" is one of my favourites. It has a nice tempo change halfway through, and packs more melody in its 10 + mins than most of the rest of the album, all together, manages. Surprisingly, I also rate "The Judas Kiss", which, although on the heavy side, does sound impressive, Stolt's guitar showing its power here. The previous track, however, is the weakest on the album, the poppish "Silent Sorrow". Some of the instrumentals lack originality as well, and seem to be just padding out the album, although I did quite like "Flora Majora". All in all though, this is my least favourite album I have heard by this excellent band, although I still have two to purchase yet, "The Rainmaker", and "Adam And Eve". I suspect views on this album are split down the middle, depending on taste. The early fans will rate it highly, the later fans will prefer the more progressive approach taken from "Stardust We Are" onwards. Decent but non-essential.
chessman | 3/5 |


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