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The Flower Kings - Back In The World Of Adventures CD (album) cover


The Flower Kings


Symphonic Prog

4.06 | 560 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars This is a solid and decent debut, although, with Roine Stolt's history in rock, it is hardly a debut! Of course, it is simply the debut as regards the Flower Kings as a group. For me, this is nowhere near their best work, it is too much rock and not enough prog. And also, despite being named amongst the musicians given above, this is the one album on which Hasse Froberg DOESN'T appear, so there are none of the glorious Jon Anderson- like harmonies that are an integral part of the current Flower Kings. the opener, "Back In The World Of Adventures", is a good track to start with. The guitar is a little too loud and formalised for me, but the melody is nice and the interplay between the musicians is typical Flower Kings. Next up is the instrumental, "Atomic Prince/Kaleidoscope", which is very impressive. Indeed, the best tracks on this album are the instrumentals, for me. It has a strong, fast paced melody, before quietening down and ending with a Hackett- like acoustic piece - very nice! Now comes another rocking track, "Go West Judas". I disliked this one when I first heard it, but it has since grown on me, partly because Tomas Bodin's keyboards are too the fore here, especially at the end of the song. Not really progressive but a decent effort. "Train To Nowhere" is one of those quieter songs that Roine sings in a rather depressing voice. Not bad but no better than average. This is quickly followed by what could be called part two of the song, the instrumental "Oblivion Road". This is better, nice and quiet with lots of things going on in the background. Track 6 is, for me, one of the highlights of the album - "Theme For A Hero". Another instrumental, it is upbeat and cheerful without being over sentimental, and the guitar work here is excellent, A nice mix of acoustic and electric. This leads to the 7th track, "Temple Of The Snakes", which is a short piece, and almost seems to belong at the end of the previous track. Nice and moody this, and, indeed, conjured up, for me, visions of a temple, somewhere in the mysterious East! Track 8 is one of my least favourites, "My Cosmic Lover". This is too pyschedelic for me, and not particularly original, although I couldn't call it bad. The lyrics are derivative though and took me back to the late sixties in a way. Probably the effect they were supposed to have, I would imagine! The penultimate track is "The Wonder Wheel". Another instrumental, not as good as the others, but again, shortish, (for the Flower Kings!) and moody. Finally comes track 10, the magnificent "Big Puzzle". Another track, like the opener, over 13 minutes long. Starting off almost hesitantly, without a particularly strong melody, it changes, half way through, to present a very strong melody, with excellent, unobtrusive guitar behind Roine's vocals. A good song and a fine way to finish this album. For me, it cannot compare to "Flower Power", or "Unfold The Future", but it is a good effort. Although the next album, "Retropolis", was disappointing for me, it did herald the arrival of Mr Froberg, and the last piece of the jigsaw was from then on in place. Early Flower Kings fans will like this more than later fans.
chessman | 3/5 |


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