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Flower Kings, The - Stardust We Are
Added: February 8th 2002
Year of Release: 1997
Label: InsideOut Music
Catalog Number: IOMCD048/SPV 092-31782CD
Total Time: 126:25:00
Stardust We Are was originally released in 1997 on Foxtrot Records, marking the entrance of lead singer and guitar player Hans Fröberg. This version was pressed in 2000 under the auspices of Inside Out America Music. This two album set is very ambitious, and it is what broke the group here in the U.S. It also made people recognize what a significant contribution they were making in the popularization of progressive rock.
The more I hear from this group, whether it's a new release or delving into their back catalog, the more impressed I am with their sense of musicality and creativity in every song they make. I recently interviewed the talented and gracious guitar player Roine Stolt, and I asked him what his favorite album was and he said that Stardust We Are was his choice because of its scope and breadth and the fact that it got the group going in the direction they are currently moving in. Well of course I had to hear it immediately, and label man Bob Snyder expedited me a copy.
Okay, now my challenge is to cover the highlights of this prog-rock masterwork, which is not an easy task considering the entire album was so terrific. "Church Of Your Heart" is an incredible illustration of keyboards, vocals, guitar, bass, and drums ... actually every piece is, and it's always a group effort beyond compare. Some of the musical zeniths are "The Man Who Walked With Kings," which is total instrumental ecstasy that leads you into the melodic and enticing "Circus Brimstone." The brilliance of this group is evident at every turn as they expertly carve out each song to make sure that it leads directly into the next. It's the key to a successful flow and the means to an eventful end. Roine Stolt plays some unbelievable guitar, the man is just spellbinding. His varied approach allows the sensitivity and lushness of a track to come alive with color and passion. Whether he is playing a flat out rocker, or an acoustic warm up to a tour de force like the twenty five minute closer "Stardust We Are," his influence and professionalism are paramount to maintaining the groups magic. This crucial intangible element applies to the entire group of course as everyone contributes equally, and very laudably.
The zealous feelings you will have while listening to this remarkable music will put you in the middle of your own movie soundtrack. I feel I can't say enough about this band, they are definitely one of the best in the world, and that encompasses every genre, not specifically prog-rock.
The production value is outstanding and sonically it couldn't get any better for this type of music. I can't get enough of this stuff, and I won't be satisfied until I hear everything they have ever done. This album was such an all out group effort regarding every facet of the process that I felt it was necessary and only fair to list all the credits.
Disc One: In The Eyes Of The World (10:38) / A Room With A View (1:26) / Just This Once (7:53) / Church Of Your Heart (9:10) / Poor Mr. Rain's Ordinary Guitar (2:43) / The Man Who Walked With Kings (4:59) / Circus Brimstone (12:03) / Crying Clown (0:57) / Compassion (4:45)
Disc Two: Pipes Of Peace (1:19) / The End Of Innocence (8:28) / The Merrygoround (8:17) / Don Of The Universe (7:02) / A Day At The Mall (0:45) / Different People (6:19) / Kingdom Of Lies (5:48) / If 28 (2:15) / Ghost Of The Red Cloud (4:37) / Hotel Nirvana (1:49) / Stardust We Are (25:02)
Hans Bruniusson - percussion
Ulf Artan Wallander - soprano sax
Jaime Salazar - drums
Tomas Bodin - synthesizer, piano, accordion, Hammond organ, pipe, Mellotron, Fender Rhodes, optigan, effects
Roine Stolt - acoustic guitar, electric guitar, keyboards, vocals, voices
Hans Fröberg - vocals, background vocals, voices
Hakan Almorvist - sitar, tabla
Michael Stolt - bass
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
Reviewer: Keith "Muzikman" Hannaleck
Artist website: www.flowerkings.se
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