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Pop - Released October 29, 2013 | InsideOutMusic

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Rock - Released July 13, 2012 | InsideOutMusic

Retropolis is the album that brought the Flower Kings from an interesting underground progressive rock band to an act that simply couldn't be ignored by anyone interested in the genre's 1990s revival. Roine Stolt and consorts' aim for Retropolis was to dive a little more into vintage progressive forms (retro) and, indeed, this album is the most nostalgic and closer-to-the-roots-sounding of the band's catalog. From the Pink Floyd-shaped "Rhythm of the Sea" to the poignant Yes-like hymn "There Is More to This World," the Flower Kings sound like they are paying tribute to the groups that brought them to do what they are doing, without ever falling into plagiarism or sacrificing the band's own identity. "Melting Pot," "The Judas Kiss," and the powerful instrumental "Retropolis" are the album's other highlights. Very strong composition-wise, Retropolis lacked some cohesion. It is one of the band's most song-oriented albums (with The Flower King). In comparison, the following effort Stardust We Are will have a stronger identity but at times weaker material. ~ François Couture
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Rock - Released July 13, 2012 | InsideOutMusic

The Flower Kings' fast rise to the top of the progressive rock community was equal to their recording pace. The two hours of music on Stardust We Are completed a four-album run in a little less than four years. Roine Stolt's creativity seemed without limits, but listening to this two-CD set, one finds a little more filler than usual, mostly in the form of poppier tunes (like "Different People," "Kingdom of Lies," and "Compassion") and short instrumental pieces meant as bridges between more significant songs. Strangely, it didn't affect the album's cohesion or interest (it wouldn't be the case for Flower Power) and, although it could have been stripped down to an even stronger 75-minute CD, Stardust We Are made a strong impression and opened the U.S. doors for the Swedish band. The opener "In the Eyes of the World" has the strength and positive drive of the best Stolt songs and became an instant live classic, as did "Church of Your Heart," which also contained all the Flower Kings trademark ingredients: a memorable melody; intelligent shifts in time signature, speed, and key; lush arrangements; spirited musicianship; heartfelt vocals (alternating between Stolt and Hans Fröberg, depending on register and the emotional effect required); and a positive attitude toward life. "Circus Brimstone" is a strange and complex instrumental piece with backward voices inherited from Frank Zappa -- one of Roine Stolt's least-suspected influences. Disc two contains less strong moments: "The End of Innocence" is a good track, but afterwards it seems "Different People," "Kingdom of Lies," and "If 28" are just there to kill time before the epic "Stardust We Are," a 25-minute tour de force, full of well-developed music ideas seamlessly stitched together. More cohesive as a whole than the previous album Retropolis, Stardust We Are was on the other hand weaker musically speaking, but it remains one of the very good Flower Kings albums, if only for the opening and closing tracks. ~ François Couture
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Rock - Released July 13, 2012 | InsideOutMusic

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Rock - Released July 13, 2012 | InsideOutMusic

Sweden's The Flower Kings represent the finer elements of progressive rock as they artfully expound upon the early-'70s, much beloved British Canterbury Scene amid dashes of psychedelic rock and to a lesser extent, jazz fusion. With this 2000 release, the musicians continue their forward thinking ways, as they touch upon disparate elements amid complex arrangements and tenacious ensemble work along with the occasional nod to contemporary jazz, thanks to multi-instrumentalist Ulf Wallander's tasty soprano saxophone work. And while the band often takes the listener on a whirlwind tour of memorably melodic themes, impacting rhythms and circuitous discourses, lead vocalist Roine Stolt's authoritative presence and concisely executed vocals only enhance the overall proceedings. Simply stated, Space Revolver is a beautifully recorded opus. One that is brimming with ingenuity and the band's distinctive approach to a genre that often flounders within it's own sense of uncertainty. ~ Glenn Astarita
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Rock - Released July 13, 2012 | InsideOutMusic

Roine Stolt's voice is strong, full, passionate, and delightfully accented. The Flower Kings' lyrics are heady, compelling, and hook city. The guitar work is extremely melodic and rates right up there with anything Brian May or David Gilmour has offered. Stolt is expertly meshed in this band with brother Michael on bass and voice. Tomas Bodin excels on Hammond organ, Mellotron, piano, and flute. Hans Bruniusson plays percussion alongside Jaime Salazar on drum kit, while Ulf Wallander guests on sax. The ten songs here are split between five instrumentals and five featuring great vocals mingled with extended instrumental bridges and a variety of sonic excursions. Each piece is a rocking, swirling matrix of multifaceted sound, with the opening "World of Adventures" a particular highlight. Take the best of Crack the Sky, Pink Floyd, early Genesis, and the slick cool pop/rock of Queen and Prince's 1999, mix everything together in the cauldron of Stolt's vision of world peace, and out comes a fresh batch of magic. ~ John W. Patterson
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Rock - Released June 18, 2012 | InsideOutMusic

The Flower Kings enjoyed a rather long break following 2007's The Sum of No Evil album and the tour that ensued, with individual members undertaking solo projects or simply laying low, recharging their creative batteries after years of grueling, non-stop work. Naturally, however, this hiatus only heightened fan expectations leading into the band's next progressive rock challenge, 2012's Banks of Eden, which inevitably found the lovable Swedish egg-heads both reveling in and wrestling the characteristic excess, majesty, and hubris of their chosen art form, as expected. Indeed, cynics could easily allege that the album's opening, 25-minute-long "Numbers" is pretty much what happens when a prog rock band starts jamming and simply doesn't bother stopping (nerds armed with instruments gone wild!?). But it's obviously not that simple, and while the Flower Kings still lack the signature vocal presence of a Peter Gabriel, the way they string so many movements, moods, and styles (there's pop, jazz, classical, metal, you name it) within that epic movement's timespan is not only impressive but very reminiscent of classic period Genesis, both philosophically and aesthetically (i.e. fascinating and perplexing in equal measures). By comparison, the more manageably sized musical chunks that follow prove infinitely easier to digest, and include the rather bouncy, Yes-like "For the Love of Gold" (note the falsettos and insistent Chris Squire-styled bass), an upbeat, anthemic number misleadingly named "For Those About to Drown," and a dreamy, spiritual product of Pink Floyd worship named "Rising the Imperial." There's also a curious track named "Pandemonium" that sees the Flower Kings infected by the Borg or something -- how else to explain its robotic vocals and similarly mechanical instrumental work? The album technically ends here, but deluxe editions also feature an additional four bonus tracks of varying quality -- from the elegiac instrumental guitar showcase "Illuminati" and bizarrely Neil Diamond-esque "Fireghosts," to the ‘80s MOR/prog of "Going Up" and the forgettable "Lo Lines" -- that will likely thrill diehards regardless. Heck, chances are that simply having to wait this long will assuage most serious critical objections about Banks of Eden for the immediate future, but the album nevertheless represents yet another solid day's work at the office for the Flower Kings. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia
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Rock - Released July 13, 2012 | InsideOutMusic

The Flower Kings must be the most stable, consistent progressive rock outfit of the 1990s. A year after the release of Space Revolver, they released The Rainmaker, featuring the usual lineup (although the liner notes announce it is Jaime Salazar's last recording with the group) and Don Azzaro at the mixing desk. In general, this album remains very close to the Flower Kings sound and could be traded with any of their previous efforts. There is one difference: it sounds just a bit closer to metal. Is the fact that it rocks harder a sign that the Inside Out Music America roaster is beginning to rub off on Roine Stolt's writing? The album opener "Last Minute on Earth" could even scare a few fans or lure newcomers into believing a conversion has occurred. But this impression fades away quickly upon listening to "World Without a Heart," a typical FK ballad. As usual, the music gets wider and more symphonic on longer numbers like "Road to Sanctuary" or "City of Angels" but these lack the majesty of earlier opuses. "Elaine" and "Thru the Walls," on the other hand, will delight fans and introduce a jazzier element. The Rainmaker is not as gripping or rewarding as Flower Power or Retropolis. It misses a strong anthem and sounds as if the musicians were going through the motions. All the ingredients are there, except maybe the passion we are used to. ~ François Couture
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Rock - Released June 18, 2012 | InsideOutMusic

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Rock - Released July 13, 2012 | InsideOutMusic

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Rock - Released July 13, 2012 | InsideOutMusic

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Rock - Released July 13, 2012 | InsideOutMusic

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Rock - Released September 29, 2006 | InsideOutMusic

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Rock - Released July 13, 2012 | InsideOutMusic

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Rock - Released November 8, 2019 | InsideOutMusic

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