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The Flower Kings - Retropolis CD (album) cover


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

3.74 | 476 ratings

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5 stars Retropolis is the second official studio album from Swedish progressive rock act The Flower Kings. If you count Roine Stolt´s Flower King album ( which I do), Retropolis is the third album from the band. The music on all Flower Kings albums is of a very high quality but some of their albums can seem a bit unfocused which means that only a few truly stand out as being masterpieces ( the rest are still excellent even with the obvious flaws that mare some of them). Retropolis is a masterpiece in my book and maybe the best album The Flower Kings have yet released.

The songs are generally pretty long ( Though not as long as some of the songs on later albums) and complex in structure which is business as usual for The Flower Kings but the mood in most songs on the album is very dark and intense which is quite unusual for the band. There are songs here and there on some of their other albums that are dark too but The Flower Kings music is predominantly positive and light. I really like this dark side of the band and songs like the title track, Rythm of the Sea and The Judas Kiss are some of the greatest Flower Kings songs ever IMO. The usual Pink Floyd, Yes, Genesis, King Crimson and Frank Zappa influences are present as ever. The Zappa influence is particularly strong in some of the instrumental sections with Hasse Bruniusson´s ( Samla Mammas Manna) various percussion skills on full display.

The musicianship is excellent. The rythm section plays some incredible tight and interesting parts while Bodin and Stolt really shine in the melodic department. I´m especially impressed by Roine Stolt´s guitar solos on Retropolis. He has never sounded more intense. I really enjoy his singing as well. He often receives critique for his vocal style but his approach sooths my ears. Hasse Fröberg guests on a couple on a couple of tracks most notably on one of the few lighter songs on the album the 10:15 minute long There Is More To This World. I prefer Roine Stolt´s vocal style but Hasse´s more hard rock/ Jon Anderson style is a welcome variation.

The production is excellent. Very professional and well sounding. Polished as always.

As I said in the beginning of my review I regard Retropolis to be a progressive rock masterpiece and I will rate it 5 stars. I often hear people complaining that The Flower Kings is a retro prog band with no original ideas which is not my view on the band. I actually find it a bit unfair to such a great band but people of course have a right to their opinion. If you´re new to The Flower Kings I would start here.

UMUR | 5/5 |


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