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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

The Flower Kings

Space Revolver

Review by G. W. Hill

The newest release from the Flower Kings finds them both staying true to their trademark sound and moving in new and unusual directions. We definitely find signs of both on this potent album. This should be a good move for them in helping them to keep the faithful happy, while expanding their fan base.
The band is Roine Stolt, Tomas Bodin, Hasse Fr?berg, Michael Stolt, Jaime Salazar and Hasse Bruniusson.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
I Am The Sun (Part One)
Starting with sedate tones, a bit Yesish, this one jumps into faster gear fairly quickly and definitely feels a lot like early Yes. The keyboard solo section certainly has a texture much like early Genesis, as does the music to the verse section. This one starts rocking out pretty well after a time, in an almost DTish fashion. The bass work on this cut particularly stands out. More Genesisish moments ensue later on. The piece just keeps reinventing itself. Later it jumps into an unusual jazz oriented sort of free form jam, somewhat in the mode of early King Crimson. This part kind of loses me. After this segment, the cut jumps into a great jazzy progression with a wonderful groove. It drops to a mellow section with a bit of an exotic tone. As it starts building from here, it gets quite beautiful. Odd sounds end this number.
Dream On Dreamer
A cool jazz sort of texture pervades the song, which is otherwise a prog ballad. It moves into music box type keys to end the song.
Rumble Fish Twist
Odd hard-edged sounds and crowd noise begin this one. Frantic drumming completes the basis. A fast paced, hard-edged prog jam, this one goes through a lot of changes, eventually dropping to a mellow and melodic jazzy jam.
Monster Within
A hard-edged jam with an evil laugh is the intro to the cut. This one is really unusual with a sparse metallic arrangement and darkly processed slightly distorted vocals. The strong hard textures turn to a more traditional Flower Kings sort of mode, a bit in the style of old Genesis. Then it explodes into a great jazzy prog jam that really cooks. This unusual track is great.
Chicken Farmer Song
Starting with a very standard FK mellow prog segment, this one turns into a nice, somewhat funky rock jam after a time.
Underdog
With a mode that is a bit Celtic and a bit countrified, this is a solid ballad. It turns harder edged and then into a solid prog jam with a lot of spoken samples overlaid.
You Don't Know What You've Got
Kind of an unusual ballad, this one is not really prog, but just a good strong short rock ballad.
Slave To Money
Starting with playful, mellow almost kid musical tones, a prog buildup crescendos to end the intro. The mode then becomes very prog ballad oriented and starts building from there to rocking prog that keeps moving and changing. It then jumps to a completely new keyboard dominated segment and then down to a very sedate keyboard section. It then builds to an all new fast prog jam that is a bit ELPish. The cut includes a nice break that is dominated by a tasteful guitar solo.
A King's Prayer
Starting in a mellow balladic mode, the cut starts building from there. It becomes a great slow moving prog number that is quite evocative. This turns rather bluesy after a time and moves straight into the next song.
I Am The Sun (Part Two)
A balladic intro with some convincing vocal work makes up the early mode here. It starts building on this mode in rather Genesisish patterns, then getting a bit jazzy. This turns into a wonderful prog jams. This piece just keeps reinventing in tried and true prog modes. It is a great progressive rock adventure with quite a few echoes of Genesis and Yes utilized in a very typical FK arrangement. The instrumental that serves as the outro is awesome.
You'll find an audio interview of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
 
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