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The Flower Kings - Paradox Hotel CD (album) cover


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

3.73 | 485 ratings

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5 stars In my not so humble opinion:

Paradox Hotel by the Flower Kings is the most complete and consistent album in their long and illustrious career. There are no weak songs on either CD. The flow is well thought out and timed with a great balance of upbeat and mellow songs. As with all of the Flower Kings' CD's, the playing is impeccable and the vocal harmonies are among their best. This is The Flower Kings at the top of their game.

Jonas Reingold uses this album to further solidify his place as one of the best modern progressive bassists and Roine Stolt continues to shine as he pulls off some beautiful solos. One interesting thought, playing the tracks in the opposite order makes a surprisingly cohesive, smooth flowing album as well. I'm guessing this is just a part of the Paradox.

My personal favorite from this album is Minor Giant Steps which is a happy mini epic and is one of my two favorite Flower Kings songs (I am the Sun being the other). Each member of the band melds together to form an almost perfect blend of their individual talents. The afore mentioned vocal harmonies are illustrated and Jonas plays an incredibly tasty run for most of the last five minutes of the song. Tomas and Roine also do a great job of trading the spotlight back and forth before both fading to allow the vocals to lead again. All in all, this is an amazing song.

Other highlights include 'Life Will Kill You' which highlights Hasse Froberg's singing and an amazingly catchy lick in the chorus by Roine. Roine's solo in this song is one of his best as well. "End on a High Note" could almost be describes as 'Minor Giant Steps' part 2, again great vocals. 'Selfconsuming Fire' is beautiful and 'Mommy Leave the Light On' is a touching song. 'Touch My Heaven' showcases another soulful Roine Stolt solo.

You can't mention a Flower King's CD without addressing the epic(s). For a change they started, rather than finished, the album off with the giant 20 minute epic 'Monsters and Men'. It's a good song with all of the tricks and turns that you'd expect from a Flower King's epic what I call the 'Supper's Ending', a term inspired by Roj M30's description of the ending of most IQ albums. I've expanded the term to include the ending to just about every Flower King epic as well.

All in all, this is a beautiful album, through and through. It's got everything you could want from the jazzy 'Unorthodox Dancing Lesson' to the flat out rock of the title track, the almost poppy 'Hit me with a Hit' to the mellow 'The Way the Waters are Moving' all summed up with the gentle closer 'Blue Planet' which thoughtfully revisits many of the album's themes.

Highly Recommended.

Roland113 | 5/5 |


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