ARTIST:

THE FLOWER KINGS

(SWEDEN)
TITLE:

ISLANDS

(2020)
LABEL:

INSIDEOUT MUSIC

GENRE:

PROGRESSIVE ROCK

TAGS:
70's, Symphonic
"With "Islands", The Flower Kings asserts itself, once again, as the most beautiful flagship of the progressive rock sphere."
CORTO1809 (28.10.2020)  
4/5
(0) opinions from our readers (0) comment(s)

Reduced to forced unemployment due to their inability to express themselves on stage as a result of the global pandemic, The Flower Kings are back sooner than expected, barely a year after "Waiting for Miracles", with a double album full of music. "Islands" is a title referring to the theme of isolation that this new opus deals with, a theme necessarily inspired by this strange life that this damn virus imposes on us. To illustrate it graphically, The Flower Kings has hired Roger Dean whose islands on the cover floating in the air remind us of those adorning the triple "Yessongs", just as the music of the Swedes that often reminds us of Jon Anderson's band.

With 92 minutes of music in twenty-one songs (even if Roine Stolt claims that the album is only a long epic cut into 21 parts), it is in a lavish feast to which we are invited. Rather short tracks (only one exceeds the six-minute) on which The Flower Kings proves with masterly ease that it is not necessary to go long to sound progressive. Because the diversity is there, inviting a multitude of themes full of feeling to the party during this hour and a half of listening, and even the shortest titles are able to link several themes with disarming fluidity, as the opening title, 'Racing With Blinders On' masterfully demonstrates.

"Islands" contains everything the band is famous for: the innate sense of melody, an astonishing diversity while preserving a homogeneous character to the whole, the richness of the arrangements, the virtuosity of the musicians, the quality of the sound recording... the listening of this album will fill with happiness all those who like progressive rock of the origins, this good old seventies rock, timelessly stamped with the seal of the Yes ('From the Ground', 'All I Need is Love', 'Hidden Angles'), Genesis ('Black Swan'), ELP ('Broken'), Caravan ('Racing With Blinders On') and other Queen ('Black Swan').

In spite of the theme, the whole sounds rather optimistic, and sometimes even solar, even if some titles are darker ('Broken', 'Serpentine', its mantra and its superb saxophone, 'Looking for Answers', 'Telescope'). But 'Islands' ends the album on a clearly optimistic note. The instruments have plenty of space to express themselves, whether in purely instrumental tracks or in songs with beautiful guitar or keyboard solos. If progressive rock dominates the record, The Flower Kings do not disdain some detours towards pop ('Morning News', 'Between Hope & Fear'), funk ('Tangerine') and even hard rock ('Fool's Gold').

Obviously, over such a long duration, "Islands" does not avoid some less dense moments, especially in the second half of the first record. But apart from this customary generosity from the band, it is once again a very beautiful album, varied, full of details, garnished with superb guitar, keyboard and bass passages and inventive drums. The Flower Kings asserts itself, once again, as the most beautiful flagship of the progressive rock sphere.


More informations on http://www.roinestolt.com



SIMILAR BANDS:
ALIAS EYE, KAIPA, IL BACIO DELLA MEDUSA, INVERTIGO, HAKEN, MAGIC PIE, HASSE FRÖBERG & MUSICAL COMPANION, MOON SAFARI, THE TANGENT, ROINE STOLT

TRACK LISTING:
01. Racing With Blinders On (04:24)
02. From The Ground (04.02)
03. Black Swan (05:53)
04. Morning News (04:01)
05. Broken (06:38)
06. Goodbye Outrage (02:19)
07. Journeyman (01:43)
08. Tangerine (03:51)
09. Solaris (09:10)
10. Heart Of The Valley (04:18)
11. Man In A Two Peace Suit (03:21)
12. All I Need Is Love (05:48)
13. A New Species (05:45)
14. Northern Lights (05:43)
15. Hidden Angles (00:50)
16. Serpentine (03:52)
17. Looking For Answers (04:30)
18. Telescope (04:41)
19. Fool’s Gold (03:11)
20. Between Hope & Fear (04:29)
21. Islands (04:12)

LINEUP:
Hasse Fröberg: Chant / Guitare Acoustique
Jonas Reingold: Basse / Guitare Acoustique
Mirko Demaio: Batterie / Percussions
Roine Stolt: Chant / Guitares / Claviers / Ukulele
Zach Kamins: Claviers
Rob Townsend: Invité / Saxophone
   
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LAST NEWS
THE FLOWER KINGS: Islands
LAST INTERVIEW
THE FLOWER KINGS (OCTOBER 2020)
The unstoppable Flower Kings took advantage of a creative confinement that allowed them to release a new album, "Islands". Meeting with the leader of the band, Roine Stolt.
 
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