Author Topic: The Flower Kings Discography: Desolation Rose (2013)  (Read 8750 times)

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Offline KevShmev

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The Flower Kings Discography: Desolation Rose (2013)
« on: March 06, 2014, 02:06:51 PM »
Well, I suppose I will take a crack at this, just for fun, and we'll see how much interest there is (in regards to discussion, as opposed to people just reading and not posting).  I am not doing ANY live albums, and I am not doing any side project albums like Orbert did for Yes, for example (since it would take years to get through all of those side projects :lol).  Basically, I am gonna do the 12 Flower Kings studio albums.  And I will use basically the same format Orbert did, as well, for posting the albums.

Back in the World of Adventures (1995)



Tomas Bodin - keyboards
Hans Bruniusson - percussion, drums
Hasse Fröberg - vocals
Jaime Salazar - drums
Michael Stolt - bass guitar
Roine Stolt - vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass guitar
Ulf Wallander: soprano saxophone

----------

1.   "World of Adventures"
2.   "Atomic Prince/Kaleidoscope"
3.   "Go West Judas"
4.   "Train to Nowhere"
5.   "Oblivion Road"
6.   "Theme for a Hero"
7.   "Temple of the Snakes"
8.   "My Cosmic Lover"
9.   "The Wonder Wheel"
10.   "Big Puzzle"

(all songs written by Roine Stolt)

----------

The band's debut album was released shortly after the release of the Roine Stolt album, The Flower King, which was the brainchild for going full-time with the band that recorded that album (although Tomas Bodin and Michael Stolt were absent on it).  Many consider The Flower Kings the band's first album, but I do not, as the absence of Bodin in particular is glaring, with the keys play mostly a background role on the guitar-driven Flower King album, while they are very much at the forefront on Back in the World of Adventures, especially in songs like the ELP-influenced Atomic Prince, Big Puzzle and Theme for a Hero.  For whatever reason, this is not a FK album that I listen to a lot, although the two epics that bookend the album are two of my favorites by the band, but it is absolutely stellar from start to finish.  There are various examples of an artist's track 1 on their first album being among their best, and World of Adventures definitely fits the bill in that regard.  Oft-overlooked on this album are the transitional tracks - Oblivion Road, Temple of the Snakes and The Wonder Wheel - all of which do a great job of helping the flow of the album and give it a very cohesive feel, instead of just randomly throwing a bunch of songs on a record.  Interestingly, wikipedia lists Hasse Froberg as doing some lead vocals on this record, but going from memory, I am pretty sure Roine Stolt does all of the lead vocals on this album, while Froberg helps out with harmonies.  Either way, this album is what got the ball rolling on one of the best progressive rock bands of the last 20 years.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 01:04:07 PM by KevShmev »

Offline Ben_Jamin

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Re: The Flower Kings Discography: Back in the World of Adventures (1995)
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2014, 02:35:27 PM »
Nice read. I'll read this and try my best to post to show I'm interested in the writeups.
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Offline Orbert

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Re: The Flower Kings Discography: Back in the World of Adventures (1995)
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2014, 02:42:24 PM »
I like this album.  As with many bands, the early albums are often more interesting because the band's sound wasn't quite so "defined" as it would later become.  There tend to be more examples of things you would be surprised to hear them do now, but which at the time were simply part of the process of pulling together the disparate influences which ultimately made the band what it would later become.  I have no idea what any of that means; I just like the sound of it.

I kinda feel the same way you do about this album versus The Flower King as the "real" first album.  Certainly there are arguments on both sides, but yeah, this was really the band's debut, whilst The Flower King was more a Roine solo album, although obviously Roine's mark is all over The Flower Kings' albums as well.  Similar to The Mothers as a band versus Frank Zappa solo albums.  Lots of overlap, but still certain distinctions.

Also, is it wrong that I like Roine's voice more than Hasse Fröberg's?  I know some people have trouble with it, but I've always thought it was a really cool voice.

Offline KevShmev

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Re: The Flower Kings Discography: Back in the World of Adventures (1995)
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2014, 03:40:54 PM »
Great post all-around, Orbert!

I have never hidden how much I like Roine's voice, especially in comparison to Froberg's, whose is a bit hit or miss for me.  Sure, he's got range, but, to me, is a prime example of why you need more than range to be a great singer. 

Excellent point, too, about how bands seem to be given more latitude early on when it comes to doing different things as a result of their core sound not totally being defined yet. 

Personally, I think the band is at their best when they are giving us a little bit of everything, as opposed to all all-out prog, for example (which they did on a later album, which I will address when we get to it).  The debut is a good example.  We have a rocking epic (World of Adventures), a laid back epic (Big Puzzle), two straight-ahead rockers that still manage to have proggy moments (Go West Judas and My Cosmic Lover), one mellow short tune (Train to Nowhere), one rocking instrumental (Theme for a Hero), one instrumental that ranges from laid back to all-out chilling (Atomic Prince/Kaleidoscope), and several transitional pieces that help stitch it all together and make it cohesive.  I love albums where you never know what you are going to get next, and where the mood is ever-changing.

Offline 7deg_inner_happiness

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Re: The Flower Kings Discography: Back in the World of Adventures (1995)
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2014, 07:04:22 PM »
Well, I suppose I will take a crack at this, just for fun, and we'll see how much interest there is

Yeah!  I'm glad, and interested.

I love Back in the World of Adventures.  It's such a fun musical journey all the way through.

I always chuckle when I hear the opening lyrics:

I'm back in the world of adventures
in grand new adventures, expect to fly
I'm deep into sonical changes
radical strangeness and I don't know why

I get the impression that TFK are offering an indication of what their music will be like.  Even if that's not the case, it still makes me smile.

Great posts both Kev and Orbert.  I certainly agree with you both regarding Roine's voice in comparison to Froberg's.  However, I also enjoy the lead vocal of Hasse in the later releases.  I feel Hasse nicely compliments Roine.  That said, no doubt Roine's voice is strong and undeniably distinctive.  I love it.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2014, 07:28:19 PM by 7deg_inner_happiness »
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Offline jingle.boy

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Re: The Flower Kings Discography: Back in the World of Adventures (1995)
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2014, 07:12:01 PM »
Well, fuck.  Guess I'm following, but more importantly, listening.  Will check this out as my first listen tomorrow.  You're gonna cost me some money, ain't you Kev?

Dick.
Can you imagine some alien race comes to a large nebula they've never seen before, and it just turns out it's the Federation's dumping ground for space-smile?
And TAC can suck it  :biggrin:, this is heavy in all the right places.  :tup

Offline kingshmegland

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Re: The Flower Kings Discography: Back in the World of Adventures (1995)
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2014, 07:19:40 PM »
I still need to get some of their back catalog so this will be a nice read.
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Offline 7deg_inner_happiness

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Re: The Flower Kings Discography: Back in the World of Adventures (1995)
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2014, 07:33:47 PM »
Well, fuck.  Guess I'm following, but more importantly, listening.  Will check this out as my first listen tomorrow.  You're gonna cost me some money, ain't you Kev?

Dick.

 :rollin


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Offline kingshmegland

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Re: The Flower Kings Discography: Back in the World of Adventures (1995)
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2014, 08:08:18 PM »
OOOOO  OOOOW  OOOWW!!  MR. KOTTER!!  I HAVE THE ANSWER.


Buying oil for his house since he lives in Antarctica.  Or Canada or something like that.


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Offline KevShmev

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Re: The Flower Kings Discography: Back in the World of Adventures (1995)
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2014, 08:17:55 PM »


Great posts both Kev and Orbert.  I certainly agree with you both regarding Roine's voice in comparison to Froberg's.  However, I also enjoy the lead vocal of Hasse in the later releases.  I feel Hasse nicely compliments Roine.  That said, no doubt Roine's voice is strong and undeniably distinctive.  I love it.

There are definitely many moments where their voices compliment each other extremely well, and I'll definitely make a point to mention what I feel those moments are.  I feel like I do bash Froberg's voice a lot, but there are certainly a lot of moments where I love his vocals.

Well, fuck.  Guess I'm following, but more importantly, listening.  Will check this out as my first listen tomorrow. You're gonna cost me some money, ain't you Kev?

Dick.

God, I hope so. :biggrin:

P.S. I love you, too. ;) :P

I still need to get some of their back catalog so this will be a nice read.

Sweet.  :coolio

Offline kirksnosehair

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Re: The Flower Kings Discography: Back in the World of Adventures (1995)
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2014, 08:59:22 AM »
This week has been insane at work  :eek    I just saw this thread.  The Flower Kings are one of my favorite bands.  Definitely in my top 10.  I have really come to appreciate Roine Stolt as a musician and composer.  His guitar playing in particular is incredibly good.  He's not a shredder.  His solos tend to be more song oriented, often including some of the melodies/themes from the song in which he's soloing.  He's got a very distinctive style and sound.  I can always pick out a Stolt guitar solo, even if I am not familiar with the piece.


I've also grown to appreciate his vocals.  Yes, he's got a bit of a thick accent and his style sometimes teeters on the edge of cheesiness, but never quite crosses over.  He's not a technically gifted vocalist, but his voice and delivery are so unique and unmistakably HIS voice that his name has jokingly become a verb with some of the other musicians in my band.  "Hey Steve, you should Roine Stolt that second chorus!" 


I don't always like every project he gets involved with, but with The Flower Kings he has rarely issued any duds.


As far as this album goes, it's among my favorite albums from The Flower Kings.  I don't skip any tracks on this one when I listen to it, like Kev, I really love the epics at each end of it, but the tracks in between are great as well. 

Offline KevShmev

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Re: The Flower Kings Discography: Back in the World of Adventures (1995)
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2014, 10:29:00 AM »
When it comes to soloing, to me, Stolt is up there with Lifeson, Gilmour and Petrucci when it comes to memorable solos.  All of those guys simply have to way too many awesome ones to list them all. 

Offline The Letter M

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Re: The Flower Kings Discography: Back in the World of Adventures (1995)
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2014, 11:00:34 AM »
So I've been reading this thread since its inception but haven't had a chance to really reply to it quite yet. I've been busy at work and with other things but I did half-listen to the album last night/this morning.

I will say that it is one HELL of a debut. The bookending epics are certainly two of their best tracks from the early days, and the rest of the tracks all have a certain charm to them. They're all great in their own ways, and while half of the tracks are instrumental, it really shows off the band's musical chops. The band's recent trend of relegating their instrumental and transitional tracks to their Bonus Discs has been a bit of a shame - I miss hearing those stretches of instrumental goodness between the more song-like songs.

Following Roine's solo album of The Flower King, this album continues that direction but with the added instrumental prowess of Tomas Bodin and Michael Stolt. It's really a full-band effort even though the music is entirely Roine's. This was the beginning of a long and fruitful journey for Roine, and this is one debut I always come back to.

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Offline Nekov

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Re: The Flower Kings Discography: Back in the World of Adventures (1995)
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2014, 11:01:16 AM »
This is my favorite TFK album and World of Adventures is probably my favorite song as well. I just like the overall vibe of the album, happy and proggy all the way without any excess in technicality or over wackyness.
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Offline KevShmev

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Re: The Flower Kings Discography: Back in the World of Adventures (1995)
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2014, 12:06:34 PM »
I don't think the band went overboard with the excess technicality until Unfold the Future, and even then, it was in pretty small doses, and overall is an extremely minor blip on their collective radar.  They are great players, but they almost never overplay.

Michael Stolt is easy to overlook as the inferior bass player before the monster player that is Jonas Reingold came on board in 2000, but M. Stolt did a pretty darn good job on those first four albums.

Offline kirksnosehair

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Re: The Flower Kings Discography: Back in the World of Adventures (1995)
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2014, 01:51:08 PM »
I assume there's a relation there?  Brother?

Offline jingle.boy

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Re: The Flower Kings Discography: Back in the World of Adventures (1995)
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2014, 03:13:39 PM »
So, it was a good thing I listened first thing, as it turned out to be a crazy day with work.  As has been repeated, the bookends of the album were terrific.  Absolutely terrific.  There wasn't anything wrong with the middle, but nothing grabbed my attention like the start and finish did.  Will probably come back to this album when I can concentrate on it a little bit more.
Can you imagine some alien race comes to a large nebula they've never seen before, and it just turns out it's the Federation's dumping ground for space-smile?
And TAC can suck it  :biggrin:, this is heavy in all the right places.  :tup

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Flower Kings Discography: Back in the World of Adventures (1995)
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2014, 06:09:19 PM »
I assume there's a relation there?  Brother?

Yes.  Michael Stolt is Roine's younger brother.

Offline The Letter M

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Re: The Flower Kings Discography: Back in the World of Adventures (1995)
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2014, 06:57:47 PM »
I just want to add how much I love "Theme For A Hero". It's so triumphant and uplifting. One of my favorites from the whole album.

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Re: The Flower Kings Discography: Back in the World of Adventures (1995)
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2014, 09:32:23 PM »
Ah, now here's a band I really need to explore. I'll be following as best I can.
Orion....that's the one with a bunch of power chords and boringly harsh vocals, isn't it?
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Offline MS394

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Re: The Flower Kings Discography: Back in the World of Adventures (1995)
« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2014, 10:30:57 PM »
"Big Puzzle" is so beautiful, every part is wonderfully constructed and melodic.

Offline The Letter M

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Re: The Flower Kings Discography: Back in the World of Adventures (1995)
« Reply #21 on: March 08, 2014, 12:36:00 AM »
Ah, now here's a band I really need to explore. I'll be following as best I can.

Definitely, especially if you enjoy Roine's work in Transatlantic, The Tangent, Kaipa, or any of his other various involvements/projects/albums/appearances.

Be warned, though, about half of the albums are double albums, and the rest are pretty long, too. And their albums tend to be pretty dense, packed with a lot of music. They don't typically write 50 minute albums with 8-10 songs - they go from double albums with 20+ tracks, to single albums with just as many, to an album of 6 tracks that's pretty lengthy, too. Their albums tend to be all over the place in terms of structure, but if you follow with this thread and journey through their works chronologically, you'll see how they evolve and change as they grow up and mature in to the band they are today.

-Marc.
ATTENTION - I am currently taking a hiatus from running any Survivors at the moment,
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Offline jingle.boy

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Re: The Flower Kings Discography: Back in the World of Adventures (1995)
« Reply #22 on: March 08, 2014, 05:37:34 AM »
Just had another go around with it this morning.  Excellent album... might be purchase worthy (although, if you saw my recent 'haul', I should probably try and slow down - I'm such a music whore).  Anyway, Theme for a Hero was wicked.  Same with Go West Judas.
Can you imagine some alien race comes to a large nebula they've never seen before, and it just turns out it's the Federation's dumping ground for space-smile?
And TAC can suck it  :biggrin:, this is heavy in all the right places.  :tup

Offline jammindude

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Re: The Flower Kings Discography: Back in the World of Adventures (1995)
« Reply #23 on: March 08, 2014, 09:09:33 AM »
I don't own a lot of Flower Kings material, but this was my introduction.   I picked it up IMMEDIATELY after hearing the title track somewhere.   That track is still my favorite FK song of all time, and I adore it.   But the rest of the album just never clicked with me for some reason.    I do own a few others now that I enjoy, but they just didn't *grab* me, ya know?   I should go back and listen to what I've got...including this album. 

In total, I own this, Alive on Planet Earth, and Space Revolver....I think that's it. 
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Offline KevShmev

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Re: The Flower Kings Discography: Back in the World of Adventures (1995)
« Reply #24 on: March 08, 2014, 09:14:59 AM »
Ah, now here's a band I really need to explore. I'll be following as best I can.

 :tup :tup

I just want to add how much I love "Theme For A Hero". It's so triumphant and uplifting. One of my favorites from the whole album.

Yep, it's great.  I'd call it one of their five best full-band instrumentals.

"Big Puzzle" is so beautiful, every part is wonderfully constructed and melodic.

Damn straight.  It also has one of my favorite rolled 'r's of Roine, when he sings, "This puzzle grand...," near the end.  I love the way he rolls the 'r' on grand. :hefdaddy


Just had another go around with it this morning.  Excellent album... might be purchase worthy (although, if you saw my recent 'haul', I should probably try and slow down - I'm such a music whore).  Anyway, Theme for a Hero was wicked.  Same with Go West Judas.

No, you need to speed up and buy these albums as I feature them. :)

Offline KevShmev

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Re: The Flower Kings Discography: Back in the World of Adventures (1995)
« Reply #25 on: March 08, 2014, 01:11:44 PM »
Something I've noticed when listening to both The Flower King and BITWOA is that Roine's voice was a bit deeper back then, and he could even get a bit gritty at times (see parts of the 2nd half of Humanizzimo).  Hell, even his wordless near-scream around 5:17 in My Cosmic Lover is something I cannot imagine him doing now.  Granted, his style is not one that is gonna cause a significant drop-off in what he can and cannot do, but I am just saying, his voice does seem to have changed a bit over the years.  But hell, he is in his late 50s now, as opposed to his late 30s then, so that is understandable.

Re: The Flower Kings Discography: Back in the World of Adventures (1995)
« Reply #26 on: March 08, 2014, 08:30:13 PM »
I've always wanted to get into the Flower Kings' earlier material, but never really got around to it yet so this thread is the perfect motivation for doing exactly that!  Already halfway through the album and loving it so far, as I knew I would.  What on earth took me so long!?

Offline KevShmev

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Re: The Flower Kings Discography: Back in the World of Adventures (1995)
« Reply #27 on: March 08, 2014, 10:40:46 PM »
Better late than never!  I am glad to see them getting some new fans as a result of this thread.  That totally makes it worth it. :) :coolio

Offline 7deg_inner_happiness

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Re: The Flower Kings Discography: Back in the World of Adventures (1995)
« Reply #28 on: March 09, 2014, 09:51:32 AM »
I find Oblivion Road to be an interesting instrumental.  It is a perfect transition piece from the preceding Train to Nowhere.  The opening sounds like it could possibly be in a train station environment.  There are so many different sounds (especially various percussion instruments) featured in this song which add so much texture.  I love the open spacious feeling of this tune, as well as the jazz style.  I like the mood and style changes throughout this album, and I feel that Train to Nowhere / Oblivion Road certainly add a lot.

"Big Puzzle" is so beautiful, every part is wonderfully constructed and melodic.

Damn straight.  It also has one of my favorite rolled 'r's of Roine, when he sings, "This puzzle grand...," near the end.  I love the way he rolls the 'r' on grand. :hefdaddy
Ha!  The rolling 'r' is so conspicuous, yet I never noticed before you pointed it out!

Something I've noticed when listening to both The Flower King and BITWOA is that Roine's voice was a bit deeper back then, and he could even get a bit gritty at times (see parts of the 2nd half of Humanizzimo).  Hell, even his wordless near-scream around 5:17 in My Cosmic Lover is something I cannot imagine him doing now.  Granted, his style is not one that is gonna cause a significant drop-off in what he can and cannot do, but I am just saying, his voice does seem to have changed a bit over the years.  But hell, he is in his late 50s now, as opposed to his late 30s then, so that is understandable.

I don't know I may be wrong, but that vocal part that starts at 5:06 and ends at 5:19 in MCL sounds like Hasse to me.  Anyway, I find Roine quite creative in the use of his vocals and vocal effects.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2014, 02:52:51 PM by 7deg_inner_happiness »
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Offline KevShmev

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Re: The Flower Kings Discography: Back in the World of Adventures (1995)
« Reply #29 on: March 09, 2014, 10:10:08 PM »
You might be right, regarding that part of My Cosmic Lover; hard to tell. 

I can't keep track of all of Roine's rolled 'r's, but that one in Big Puzzle is definitely one of the best!

Offline KevShmev

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Re: The Flower Kings Discography: Retropolis (1996)
« Reply #30 on: March 10, 2014, 12:40:41 PM »
Retropolis (1996)



Tomas Bodin - keyboards
Hans Bruniusson - percussion
Hasse Fröberg - vocals
Jaime Salazar - drums
Michael Stolt - bass guitar
Roine Stolt - vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass guitar
Ulf Wallander - soprano saxophone

----------

1.   "Rhythm Of Life"
2.   "Retropolis"
3.   "Rhythm Of The Sea"
4.   "There Is More To This World"
5.   "Romancing The City"
6.   "The Melting Pot"
7.   "Silent Sorrow"
8.   "The Judas Kiss"
9.   "Retropolis By Night"
10.   "Flora Majora"
11.   "The Road Back Home" 

(tracks 1,5 and 9 written by Tomas Bodin; tracks 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10 and 11 written by Roine Stolt)

----------

The band's sophomore effort, Retropolis, is a record that I feel gets overlooked a lot, but it's one of their best.  In fact, I would argue it is probably their best and most consistent single album.  If you look at the eight full-length songs - not counting the Rhythm of Life intro, the Romancing the City piano intro to The Melting Pot, and Retropolis by Night, which is kind of a transitional piece of music, IMO - the consistency is astonishing.  Anyone could put those eight songs in any order of preference, and I'd have a hard time arguing with it; all of those songs are that good. 

While Back in the World of Adventures had very much of a hard rock edge on multiple tunes, that edge is non-existent on Retropolis. Instead, Retropolis has a very organic, almost-laid back overall feel, as they really stretch out and allow the songs to breathe with many moments of simplicity, like the acoustic guitar outro in the title track, the piano work and understated electric guitar work at the end of Rhythm of the Sea, or the piano breakdown in the middle of The Judas Kiss.  Not saying the debut didn't have those type of laid back moments, too, but while there are certainly some rocking moments on Retropolis, they aren't as hard as those on the first record.

Notable is how so much of their material early on was largely instrumental.  Only five of the 11 tracks have vocals, and the majority of those have extended instrumental sections, so they were bringing the instrumental prog in a big, big way.  Also notable is the middle section of There Is More to This World, where Froberg gets his first lead vocal section.  And he does a great job with it. 

I have to give a special shout-out, too, to Silent Sorrow, which is arguably the most important song in my development as a TFK fan.  I know I have told this story before, but I had bought three of their CDs in the summer of 2000, but wasn't really feeling them overall as a band, although my main musical attentions were admittedly on other bands at that time.  Then, one day I put Retropolis on really loud and ended up falling asleep for a bit, and when I woke up, Silent Sorrow was just starting and I just laid there, slowly coming out my slumber, as the tune kicked my groggy ass.  I love little moments like that when you get into a song or band.

The album cover is probably my 2nd favorite of theirs.  It is very striking, and in a good way.

To sum up, I love this record like crazy.


Offline Orbert

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Re: The Flower Kings Discography: Retropolis (1996)
« Reply #31 on: March 10, 2014, 01:13:15 PM »
This was my first Flower Kings album.  I've been a Flower Kings fan for a long time, though I admit that I've been a bit inconsistent in following them.  They've released a lot of music over the years, and life can get pretty crazy sometimes and not allow time for music listening.  I'm going to need to review most of the later albums as we move through this discography.

Listening to this one again, I suddenly remembered very clearly listening to it in the old apartment.  We moved out of that apartment in 1998, so this album was only a few years old, and Stardust We Are was the new one.  At the time, I had no idea that the band was still relatively new.  Kinda cool that they've been around about as long as Dream Theater, and like DT, I've been with them the whole time.

I remember looking at the track titles and, considering the album title, wondering if this was a concept album.  I still don't know, but that's mostly because I don't really listen to the lyrics.  I listen to the vocals, their rhythm and even the words themselves, but have never really sought any particular meaning from them.  Maybe it's because of my background listening to Yes, where the lyrics are usually abstract poetry, certainly with meaning, but which Jon Anderson himself has admitted are sometimes just chosen because they sound nice and seem to fit the music.

Like you, Kev, I'm struck by how much of this album is instrumental, and how many tracks are instrumentals.  Even if some of them are pretty short, Bodin's keyboard work is great.  "Romancing the City" is awesome.  From grand piano to synthesizers to pipe organ, he's like Wakeman, and maybe even more consistent.

Part of the instrumental break in "Silent Sorrow" has a distinct Zappa feel to it, and I'm reminded that Roine cites Frank as an influence.  Actually, part of the title track has some of the Zappa zaniness to it.  It always catches my ear because I don't expect to hear it in "serious" prog.

In junior high, my parents bought a ping pong table, which we set up in the basement.  My buddy Jim and I spent countless hours down there volleying ping pong, listening to tunes, and talking about everything from music to girls to parents to life and everything else.  All set to "pic-poc... pic-poc... pic-poc..." of the ping pong ball.  That sound is part of the soundtrack of my junior high life, and "Rhythm of Life" always takes me back there.

The occassional appearance of the soprano saxophone is cool.

Anyway, this is a freakin' awesome album.  Probably my favorite, but that's largely due to it being the one with which I'm most familiar.

Offline KevShmev

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Re: The Flower Kings Discography: Retropolis (1996)
« Reply #32 on: March 10, 2014, 03:10:11 PM »
Great post!

And what's funny is, I said it gets overlooked, and I think I even overlook it sometimes!  I usually put Retropolis in my 2nd tier of favorite FK albums, but usually near the bottom (to where it is around my 5th favorite), but having listened to it a lot over the weekend, I can't imagine it not being a top 3 FK record.  It really is that good, and it has a consistency that is pretty remarkable.  Plus, while just about FK record sounds really good, at worst, from a mixing standpoint, several stand at the top as sounding particularly awesome, and Retropolis is one of them.

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Re: The Flower Kings Discography: Retropolis (1996)
« Reply #33 on: March 11, 2014, 10:52:13 AM »
Finally getting around to listening to World of Adventures now. I'm only on the first track, but there's already a much harder edge to it that I wasn't expecting at all. It's not metal by any means, but it has a really nice vibe kind of like Spock's Beard's first album, which I totally love. Vocal harmonies are sweet too.
Orion....that's the one with a bunch of power chords and boringly harsh vocals, isn't it?
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Offline The Letter M

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Re: The Flower Kings Discography: Retropolis (1996)
« Reply #34 on: March 11, 2014, 03:00:01 PM »
Retropolis is a fantastic and fun sophomore album from The Flower Kings. It's a very varied yet fulfilling album with a lot of different sounds and styles on it, with just as much instrumental goodness as the first album (and Roine's The Flower King). One of their few single disc albums without bonus tracks, this album actually had session leftovers that were later released - "Buffalo Man" and "Kite", the former of which was deemed too dance-y for inclusion, but the latter has recurring themes and motifs from the album, and it was a crime to exclude it. In my personal playlist of the album, it's laid out as a double album (Yes, I know - as if TFK need any MORE of those).
Disc 1:
1.   "Rhythm Of Life"
2.   "Retropolis"
3.   "Rhythm Of The Sea"

4.   "There Is More To This World"
5.   "Romancing The City"
6.   "The Melting Pot"
7.     "Buffalo Man"

Disc 2:
8.   "Silent Sorrow"
9.   "The Judas Kiss"
10.   "Retropolis By Night"

11.   "Flora Majora"
12.   "Kite"
13.   "The Road Back Home"

Placing "Kite" as the penultimate track is pretty appropriate for me, considering the revisited themes from "There Is More To This World", one of my favorite tracks on the whole album.

Over-all, this is a pretty under-appreciated album, and probably at the top of my 2nd-tier TFK albums (in their 4-6 place). It's another kind-of-experimental follow-up to the debut, which itself was pretty broad as the band was finding their sound.

-Marc.
ATTENTION - I am currently taking a hiatus from running any Survivors at the moment,
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