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Whats your favorite Flower Kings record ?

The forum for discussion about the Music of The Flower Kings

Re: Whats your favorite Flower Kings record ?

Postby Unorthodox Dancer » 20 Sep 2013, 16:32

Hi Wowie, and thanks for the reply!

It just goes to show. Not only the wonderfully eclectic nature of TFK music but the eclectic nature of the fans, too! :!:

Many of the reasons you give for liking A&E I would say apply to PH for me! :shock:

But in the case of specifics, I don't really see how comparing a double CD to a single makes any real difference - each album should really be considered in the context of what it is.

What makes PH stand out for me is a combination of great songs, superb performances, wonderful musicianship and musical variety yet still maintaining a sense of direction - a tight collection of pieces with a coherence not found on some of the other releases.

Individual tracks, too, are some of the best in the TFK oeuvre - there's no real fillers (although some are definitely different) and I think it offers a superb overview of what the band is all about.

In contrast, A&E seems like a band ill at ease with itself, not quite knowing what direction to take, a set of songs that don't fit together and overburdened by vocalists - 3 is too many, and I don't like Daniel Gildenlow's voice very much (RS and HF are much better and work well together). On top of that, I'd say it sounds more like a band trying to sound like TFK than TFK themselves.

Subsequent albums have been much better, even if perhaps not the sprawling efforts like SWA and FP - simpler, maybe, but still highly accomplished and well-crafted.

It's just an opinion, but I wouldn't like A&E whoever made it. :(
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Re: Whats your favorite Flower Kings record ?

Postby Max Power » 20 Sep 2013, 16:36

'Monsters & Men - maybe the weakest longplayer by tfk?'
You did not say this, you did not say this! LOL :D
Actually I find this to be the most consistent epic of TFK, it's really a monster of track, listen again! :D


Listened to 'Banks of Eden' And 'The Sum of No Evil' this week (at work 8-) ).
Quite fun actually :o 8-)
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Re: Whats your favorite Flower Kings record ?

Postby Max Power » 20 Sep 2013, 16:44

Didn't like A&E at first, but soon after it was the album that convinced me TFK are my favorite band.
I think Daniel is the best vocalist in prog.

Maybe it's time we just get honest to each other and say every TFK album and song is worth the praise.
Except 'Devil's Playground' ;)
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Re: Whats your favorite Flower Kings record ?

Postby Unorthodox Dancer » 21 Sep 2013, 09:29

Monsters and Men is a fine track right up there with the best of tfk long tracks. I can't see my self why anyone who likes tfk would fail to like it. But each to their own.

I still happy with my assessment of A&E. I can't get to like it even after 20 or 30 plays so it's probably not going to rush to the top of my playlist.
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Re: Whats your favorite Flower Kings record ?

Postby projeKct » 21 Sep 2013, 13:25

Max Power wrote:every TFK album and song is worth the praise.
Except 'Devil's Playground' ;)

What?! You did not say that!! Listen again!!! :D
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Re: Whats your favorite Flower Kings record ?

Postby wowie » 23 Sep 2013, 13:46

@all
rofl :D

@Unorthodox Dancer
well, for the consistency and quality of playing and melody, we have to go very deep and i guess we cant really afford it.
So this is evil detail.

A&E is the release before PH.
I think many would agree that PH is the album where TFK/Roine is not quite sure where to take it.
but dont get me wrong, i dont want to say that. Even if its just obvious that the style changes here a lot and also the production of the album was different.
i have the opinion, that each tfk album brings new stuff and that every release is a progress in their general style/production.
So i rate PH, TSONE and BoE not that high, but they all have stuff that is new and very important of course,
The playing of TFK increases with every record (and new drummer!!!).
Where TSONE is kind of a not that progressing album as here the "red string" was kind of lost due to .... who knows!!!

With Adam & Eve, i think they ended a journey that started with Space Revolver, Jonas Reingold and then Zoltan C. and Daniel Gildenlöw.
All those three players gave massive talent to TFK!!! Reingold and Zoltan (now Lehrmann) specially made and make it possible that TFK is maybe one of the best fusion bands alive!!!
On UTF that fusion was very well lived out.
Adam & Eve came back to the more symphonic and r'n'r fileds but in a wonderful fusion of what was before. So this is imho not a statement of chaos. There is very strong intention with A&E and thats why i say it is extremely eclectic. There is old tfk, there is old prog, there is new prog, there is fusion/playing at its best, and everythig together that was up to now.

On PH, some things come to an end. There is a new TFK with a new drummer and a maybe very settled "Reingold".
Marcus gave tfk a new input and i loved it. Somehow i was a bit dissapointed with the allover result at some points becasue i had very high expectations. So tfk wasnt able to make it really 4th wave (which you can listen to on Eggs & Dogs). Still there are very fine things on PH.
So here we come back to the details.

So, after PH, Zoltan is coming back and they try to mix the A&E stuff with the PH stuff .... this is also succesful but only in a few minutes of the TSONE longlplayer where you have wonderful experimental symphonic elements.

just two things why i think Monsters & Men is the weakest,
the not so proggy (fusiontastic) playing and the weak melody. So this is only a minor point in general, but if you analyze it to your death and expect a increase of everything (a critics tragic) then .... well ...

in the end its just taste, but the question is, which taste exactly youve got? a more objective msuical view or a very subjective view which is correlated to heavy no goes?
PH represents TFK ... yes and no ... they are capable of much more and there is more on mostly all other albums. More playing and more INTENSE melody, but yes there is also somethig on PH that no other album got, maybe its diversity of song arrangements (not styles!).
(DONT GET ME WRONG HERE: The end of MGS, Blue Planet and Mommy are very intense melodys for me, really some of the best songs theyve written, but in relation to the quantity and the quality on the other double albums, PH cant hold the bar for me.)
Subsequent albums to A&E are all better, yes and no, they are better in some ways, but they are also not better in other ways. Again playing and melody, in an objective view.
Ovrburdened voclaist ... absolutley no ... this is a very subjective statement.

so which songs on PH would you say are definitley different?
how do you like Minor Giant Steps (one of my faves from PH) in relation to the other songs?
And what do you listen besides tfk?

i would really like to understand your point of view! :)


I will definitely have another listen to M&M!! ;)

btw
longplayer analyzing, we need to do that.
Humanizzimo, SWA, The Truth, DP, Love Soupreme and BoE have all faster and more compelx playing and more intensive and generally more emotions for me.
So Big Puzzle and Love is the only answer could be not as good as M&M for me .... will need to listen again ...
still i can remeber the one part in Big Puzzle and the one part in Love is .... and i cant remember any great part in M&M.
So i also would take recommendatiosn for exact time signatures of the great moments in M&M!!??
“I would rather be a man of paradoxes than a man of prejudices.” - IDIC
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Re: Whats your favorite Flower Kings record ?

Postby wowie » 24 Sep 2013, 07:42

alright ... had some listens.
i like a lot parts of it ... what i absolutely not like is the straight rock parts around the 12th minute.
mostly everything before is very fine and fresh. Every vocal part is very fine here too.
From 15th minute on til finish, the orgel part and the guitar solo is not that strong i think. Quite long ... and no massive high point, "just" a simple epic guitar finish in the end (which is nice and adds to the chilling and more simple style in general).

There is a lot of melody but still i think there is not much power and intensity here, its more a kind of a chilling romantic yearning atmosphere, which is also very fine (taste). The melody comes better for me within Blue Planet, i really like Blue Planet (and i needed a bit for that too because of the long ending and the not so speedy/trippy playing). Which kind of dismissed M&M for me i guess.
So now i can see the "romantic" and new approach on M&M which is really not bad or that weak. how can tfk be weak?
just what i expected with the 4th wave and Marcus, but somehow it didnt made click for me. Maybe because of the missing heavyness and trippyness.
maybe kind of not that driving therefor it reminds a bit to FP style, a symphonic style (around 6th and 11th minute i think) which i mentioned for LitoA, which is just great. And i also can see the consistency you talking about. There is a very good quality throughout M&M.
The high points are the vocal parts here i think and the fresh style they do.

So now i would say in terms of consistency this is pretty good, as good as IatS, LS, The Truth, DP, BoE.
In terms of complexity/trippyness its not as "good" as all off the above i think and some others like SWA or Humanizzimo, but its different, its kind of mellow, so pretty different to the others! A very different approach.
For melody, those to vocal parts of Hasse and Roine are very fine, but there also very fine and maybe more of these moments on all other longplayers (taste).
In terms of high points ... ... ... hmmm ... maybe some other dude?

well now i think i cant say, ask anymore if M&M is the weakest :D
its so different and part of the progress ...
just can say ... the more you free your inner eye ;)

well i hope you (Unorthodox Dancer) will also see the positive things on LS ;)
and you (Max) on DP ;)

its quite interesting as you can see here all the different elements that can make a song and how they sum up to something very individual every time.
And mostly nobody is in charge of all of them ... but we try our best, dont we?

maybe i cut out the straight guitar around the 12th minute and maybe shorten the end and make it a 15 minute song, this could be an excellent thing ... :D ;)

oh and without M&M there wouldnt be a BoE i guess!!
“I would rather be a man of paradoxes than a man of prejudices.” - IDIC
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Re: Whats your favorite Flower Kings record ?

Postby Max Power » 24 Sep 2013, 11:50

I don't know much about time signatures... if anything...
I think M&M is more subte than SWA or The truth, but in it's own way - at least for me- gets to be the brightest star of the album. In fact I think SWA has one of the most mellow parts; not everyone will like what I'm saying, but I think the vocal stuff on SWA pt 3 is probably the most awkward moment of the entire Stardust album :oops: (while the notes themselves are off course pure brilliance :D ).

I think DP is also a vocal thing. ' Swallowing the endless laughter...' and then 'Leave it with a bitter taste of blood...' , somehow I find these two sections pretty hard to understand. The rest and especially the instrumentation seems very good. I'll listen soon again off course!.
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Re: Whats your favorite Flower Kings record ?

Postby wowie » 25 Sep 2013, 12:00

:D i mostly DONT listen to lyrics, just in a musical sense, so if they fit in sense of poetry and song arrangement, but as a philosopher/scientist i would go crazy if i would mind that much for lyrics ... ;)
So i never get dissapointed by lyrics just in a musical sense, and most of the time im even surprised how good the lyrics are :D

yeah the complexitiy term is quite irritating. As there is more then one thing that can be complex.
First you have the playing difficulty. Then you have the song arrangement.
So i mostly mean the song arrangement. When i say complexity i mean that there is more stuff, more different parts and elements coming together. There is happening more in general (which also includes the quantity of an album).

Mellow does not automatically mean bad or unsubtle for me, its the opposite. And yes, SWA pt 3 is quite mellow but in the end and overall its epic and pretty rockin. Mellow i think is a necessity for a certain type of melody. And so SWA pt3 is also the fave part for many romantic people.

So M&M is just more mellow (and slower) in general then the other longplayers, doesnt mean its extremely mellow like SWA pt3 for example.
Still M&M gets very mellow at parts in the middle (starting 8th min) section. And i love the middle section of M&M.
Maybe that kind of mellow unjazzy playing was kind of irritating for me at that time.

if you want everything eclectic, its always a mix of heavy, massive but also speedy and trippy and also freaky and funny and also romantic and yearning stuff ;)

since Monday i think i listened 20 times to M&M now.
As ive not havent listened that much in the beginning, i now have to catch up all the hearings to listen it to death. :D

still i cant decide to put PH over BoE in the overall rating. As BoE is still more heavy, more powerfull, more trippy, more jazzy, more intense in the high-points, and even there is less quantity its more diverse for me ...
i have to compare it with Retropolis once more, maybe i put Retropolis a bit down.

btw
this just reveals another definition problem with the word consistency.
As you can have consistency of style or you can have consistency of music quality.
“I would rather be a man of paradoxes than a man of prejudices.” - IDIC
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Re: Whats your favorite Flower Kings record ?

Postby Unorthodox Dancer » 30 Sep 2013, 12:40

Wow! A lot of theorising there, especially from Wowie! :o

Thanks for your thoughts, though. :)

TBH, we can analyse and over-analyse till the cows come home. It really makes very little difference, as does history, who plays what on it, how it was recorded, what came before or what came after - in the end, all that matters is the album as it is.

In that sense, I'm really, really glad I didn't buy A&E first, or I probably wouldn't have the other 8 or 9 albums I do have! :lol:

Possibly, if you get to A&E chronologically it has something extra to offer, but I think it sounds like an entirely different band from all the other albums.

That aside, I must also say I think the latter albums are every bit as good as the earlier ones, but their strengths are different. Over 20 years, RS and the band have honed their craft. Whereas Flower Power and SWA are sprawling affairs, going off all over the place sometimes working, sometimes not - but when they do, it's magnificent - later releases seem to harness much tighter arrangements to great playing, tunes and hooks. In truth, both are good - albeit different.

And as for my favourite longer track? Well, I'm not sure. I do like M&M, TTWSYF, Numbers amongst others.

But I can definitely point to my least favourite - Drivers Seat! ;)
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Re: Whats your favorite Flower Kings record ?

Postby wowie » 30 Sep 2013, 13:52

the mid section and the end section of DS, has some very great stuff to offer. And also the first half .... :D
The mid section is imho one of the finest instrumental things tfk has done!
Of course it is so so DEVIL IN THE DETAIL here, as we all know, that generally all albums of tfk are critically (in a loose sense of melody, rhythm, playing) all very good.

well
but i think it makes difference!!!
of course the album is as it is, but the problem is, we all see it differently, because we all have different relations and wantings for values which establish over the time and including the albums.
So the problem for an analyst/critic is, to see all elements/values in the thing/work.
And therefor you need to analyze, specially history. And so the reception of history can change a lot for the future.

So its hard/inefficient work to see, name and discuss the things. many people dont care about a common, detailed definition/analyzing etc specially when it comes to their fun activities, and im fine with that. Thats just nature, freedom and individualism .... oh yeah and taste ;)

+++

i have to add another thing because of max SUBTLE mention.
When Ph came out, i was dissapointed because the drums were not as jazzy as i expected, Still i loved Marcus style but i couldnt get connected the mellow style in general and the connection to the drummer. Now i think this was a mix of Marcus style and Roines composing.
Thats also why i love Minor Giant Steps so much, because i think there you will find the most challenging drumming on PH.
The rest is very subtle as Max said.
So Marcus and PH are somehow fresh and proggy, but at the same time it was mellow and kind of straight.
Does this make any sense?
“I would rather be a man of paradoxes than a man of prejudices.” - IDIC
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Re: Whats your favorite Flower Kings record ?

Postby FKYES » 15 Oct 2013, 00:49

My standard answer is usually whatever one I listened to last! Seriously, if I had to pick one, it would be Stardust We Are. It was the first one that I heard and along with Spock's Beard- Beware Of Darkness, opened my ears to a whole new world of music. Although, Desolation Rose is currently blowing me away!


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Re: Whats your favorite Flower Kings record ?

Postby javajeff » 28 Oct 2013, 12:53

I love the entire Back In The World of Adventures album and think My Cosmic Lover is a great song, so I am surprised by the negatives on this one. I find it hard to pick a favorite album since I listen to them all in one playlist. I think Adam + Eve is the most underrated of their albums. Paradox Hotel, Retropolis, Stardust We Are, and Unfold The Future are all top choices for me. I do not think they have a bad album, and that makes them such an awesome group.
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Re: Whats your favorite Flower Kings record ?

Postby projeKct » 28 Oct 2013, 16:19

javajeff wrote:I do not think they have a bad album, and that makes them such an awesome group.

You are SO right about that!!! 8-)
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Re: Whats your favorite Flower Kings record ?

Postby wowie » 03 Dec 2013, 14:45

another thing about tfk and general prog albums
UTF had an amazing great sound, very natural and everything was present .... but A&E topped it imho
A&E is also TFK hardest production i think. its nearly JAZZ-METAL production. maybe thats why i love it that much.
So on A&E there is the great fusion of the classic tfk sound, symphonic experimental stuff (Vampires View/BoC/Drivers Seat) and jazz stuff (Love Soupreme, Cosmic Circus, DS, Timelines ...) and metall (A&E the whole sound)
Space Revolver is also in that vein .... and thats why i consider it also the second best behind A&E as a single album release. It even got a wonderful folk section in I am the sun pt2 which is one of my fave tfk moments.
there is of course more symphonic on SWA, FP, Rainmaker and some very great experimental symphonic stuff on PH and TSONE. But not that jazz or metal like we have it on SR, SWA, FP, UTF or A&E.

i wanna remind here to ENTERING THE SPECTRA, which i think is still one of the best longplayers tfk has done and not to forget THE SPRIT REMAINS THE SAME is such a great metal like song ... but that was more Karmakanic.
Not to forget IS THIS THE END? ....

so now we have more soul (which was already on Rainmaker and a lot on TSONE) in add to the classic tfk sound.
There are some new tendencies .... but not much metal ..... and symphonic

but they are very well up to and in the vein of SR and also Rainmaker UTF n Genesis .... if they would go for more symphonics now.....
uhhh im so curious for the next record and the new Karmakanic one ... i also wonder if Roine saves all the symphonic stuff for his orchester work :D which has the potential to be the best album since ..... since ..... i dont know .... let just call it Roines Garage ;)
“I would rather be a man of paradoxes than a man of prejudices.” - IDIC
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Re: Whats your favorite Flower Kings record ?

Postby barman » 30 Apr 2014, 12:21

My favourite ones are the early records they made.

I worship "Retropolis" as one of the best albums ever in the history of recorded music.

"Back in the world of adventures" comes as a close second. I have this one on vinyl, it rocks your socks out, and my biggest regret is that Retropolis was never released under that format.

"Stardust we are" is awesome as well.
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Re: Whats your favorite Flower Kings record ?

Postby miamiscot » 30 Jun 2014, 21:37

1) Stardust We Are
2) The Sum Of No Evil
3) Space Revolver
4) Unfold The Future
5) Adam & Eve
6) Banks Of Eden
7) Retropolis
8) Desolation Rose
9) Paradox Hotel
10) Flower Power
11) The Rainmaker
12) Back in the World of Adventures

This changes almost every day with the top six all contenders for best album...
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