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The Flower Kings - Harvest     Fanclub CD 2005 CD (album) cover


The Flower Kings

Symphonic Prog

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3 stars Interestingly enough, I was actually able to purchase this from a friend of the band (and former North America fan club rep) not too long ago. Since the Kings probably are not going to be doing any more of these fan club CD's, I figured I might as well Complete my collection. For the most part, I'm glad I did. Unlike the other fan club albums, this is strictly a band effort, with the exception of one track. At least, as far as I can tell, since the music all sounds like the Flower Kings, albeit not quite on top form. The first couple songs are the best, being fairly complete sounding compositions, though totally instrumental. The other tracks seem more like experimental pieces that were not really suited for an album. With that in mind, they all come off pretty well and I like them each to varying degrees. The one non-FK song, Doorway, is from the band Moonsafari and is on their first album which was produced by Tomas Bodin. To me, this song is fairly dull and boring, taking a long time to develop and not really doing much when it does. There is definitely a strong Flower Kings influence, but they are lacking the interesting structures and instrumental breaks that the Kings are best at. Basically, the song has all my least favorite FK elements and non of my favorite. I will not be checking out this band obviously.

But that song aside, I'm going to go ahead and give this 3 stars. Keep in mind that you probably can't get this CD, and even if you could it's really only for hard core Flower Kings fans. With all that in mind, I still think it's a solid 3 stars.

Report this review (#120590)
Posted Wednesday, May 2, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars On top of a very prolific discography, TFK have released several "official" live bootlegs as well as some "fan club CD's".

"Harvest Times" starts as a traditional TFK song. Full of melody and great guitar. This long song (just under ten minutes) could have sit as well on a traditional TFK album. Some weird "singing" exercises won't add anything to it. It shouldn't have been so long IMO.

"Echoes Of Dr. King" (over fifteen minutes) features some Manzarek (The Doors...) like keyboard sounds. At half time, it is just pure and boring experimentation. This composition (?) leads virtually nowhere. A long and classical piano passage, some jazzy guitar riffs, a grandiose symphonic part and back to the piano to finish ! Rather confusing...

An incredibly beautiful guitar-oriented instrumental track is my preferred song of this release. Sublime (really) melody, emotions at their heights. Symph prog all the way through : almost five minutes of splendid music. "The Crown & The Cross" would have deserved to make an official recording. Each TFK fan out there should try to hear this one. It is one of their sweetest song ever.

Complete change in direction with the fully jazzy "Siberian". Press next. "Brazilian Woman" is fully...Spanish oriented. Maybe a mistake in the title...Not too great (the track, not the mistake). TFK remains in the jazzy territories (almost piano-bar like) with the short "Dexter...". Somewhat dull and soporific.

TFK have decided to remain in the jazz territory for most of this album, apparently. "Memories..." is more structured. A bit repetitive but catchy. Still, not really fascinating...

I just hope that "Doorway..." will bring some fresh air. This long song is one of the few featuring lyrics (not too great, I'm afraid). Acoustic and mellowish mood. Probably an attempt to balance the overall jazz feeling with true symph prog but it is not really convincing. Almost pastoral and very childish. Even folkish (harmonica) ! The best moment last for about a minute while Roine will peform another fabulous guitar break. Again, melody at its best. But, frankly, was it necessary to extend this song to eleven minutes ?

Roine will also dispense a very intense guitar-oriented song during "King Of Grief". Nice finale and the second very good track.

As this album was released for fans, it should be regarded as such. Three nice songs lasting for less than twenty minutes could hardly turn this album into a masterpiece. Still, several passages are very poignant. Two stars.

Report this review (#131948)
Posted Sunday, August 5, 2007 | Review Permalink

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