Year of Release: 1996
Catalog Number: IOMCD 050
Total Time: 68:49:00
Retropolis is the second disc by the Swedish band, The Flower Kings, if we don't consider Roine Stolt's work called The Flower King, which featured the complete team that afterwards formed the group.
I bought the album after having listened to the most important albums from the band like Stardust We Are and Flower Power. So the first thought I had was that Hasse Fröberg appeared on it only as guest star, singing on two songs. The consequence is the following: although I like Roine's voice a lot (a mixture of Roger Waters, John Wetton and Peter Hammill) the final score is less successful than the works where Fröberg is a full-time member.
However, I believe Retropolis has no weak points like, for example, Stardust We Are does, an album thatcontains some filler ("Different People" or "Kingdom Of Lies"). It's a Stolt creature, as he wrote almost all the tracks, but there's a lot of improvisation, too. The band demonstrates all their skills with many solos and instrumental parts. The title track represents what I just said. In my opinion it's the best TFK instrumental piece ever, though it is very, very long (more than eleven minutes).
This album, of course, has all the influences of the prog giants. The long song called "There Is More To This World" has a final part where there are some choruses in the classic Yes style. According to me, this is too similar.
I also notice Tomas Bodin plays Hammond C3 organ more than usual, just to remark the influences of the past.
At the same time, on this disc many original pieces are present: "Silent Sorrow" has an interesting central part where Bodin makes himself conspicuous using a lot of synthesizers. "The Judas Kiss," is my favorite one, with a great jam session in the middle and a beginning that has an oriental melody.
I suggest you buy Retropolis first so that you can see TFK's evolution over the years!
Rhythm Of Life (0:28) / Retropolis (11:07) / Rhythm Of The Sea (6:13) / There Is More to This World (10:07) / Romancing The City (0:53) / The Melting Pot (5:48) / Silent Sorrow (7:38) / The Judas Kiss (7:39) / Retroplis by Night (3:06) / Flora Majora (6:49) / The Road Back Home (8:57)
Roine Stolt - guitar, keyboards, vocals, voices
Tomas Bodin - synthesizer, piano, Hammond organ, Mellotron, effects
Michael Stolt - bass
Jaime Salazar - percussion, drums
Hans Fröberg - voices
Hasse Bruniusson - percussion
Ulf Artan Wallander - soprano sax
Roine Stolt - The Flower King (1994/2001/2004)
Back In The World Of Adventures (1995)
Stardust We Are (1997/2000)
Scanning The Greenhouse (comp) (1998)
Edition Limitée Quebec (1998) (only 700 copies!)
Flower Power (1999)
TFK fanclub disc (2000) (free CD exclusive to fanclub members only)
Alive On Planet Earth (2000)
Space Revolver (2000)
Space Revolver Special Edition (2CD set) (2000)
The Rainmaker (2001)
The Rainmaker - Special Edition (2001)
Unfold The Future (2002)
Live In New York: Official Bootleg (2002)
Fan Club CD 2002 (2002)
Fan Club CD 2004 (2004)
Adam & Eve (2004)
Harvest (fan club CD) (2005)
Paradox Hotel (2006)
The Road Back Home (2007)
The Sum Of No Evil (2007)
The Sum Of No Evil (Special Edition) (2007)
Banks Of Eden (2012)
Meet The Flower Kings - Live Recording (DVD) (2003)
Instant Delivery (DVD) (2006)
Instant Delivery - Limited Edition (2CD/2DVD) (2006)
Genre: Symphonic Prog