Roine Stolt — The Flower King
(Inside Out Music IOMACD 40913, 1994/2001, CD)
by Mike McLatchey, Published 1995-03-01
Its been a while since we've heard from former Kaipa guitarist Roine Stolt. This album received a lot of hype recently, and claiming to be a symphonic rock album from a member of Kaipa, I certainly wanted to check it out. Overall, this CD gives me mixed feelings. Immediately noticeable are the pop-styled hooks in the vocals and choruses. I was unpleasantly reminded of Live-Aid singles - "We believe in love..." The Flower King is a concept album that you have to read the liner notes to believe; it seems that Roine Stolt has become the L. Ron Hubbard of symphonic concept albums. On the other hand, this disc also has a lot of nice moves — Stolt is and has always been a superb guitarist and although he occasionally tries to be a metal guitar god, it's always nice to hear him play. It's also good to hear Hans Bruniusson back on a real drum kit (he plays on half the tracks.) Instrumentally the music does approach Kaipa with some nostalgic backward glances and some new yet strangely familiar themes. The soft symphonic parts are very nice, with a dreamy atmosphere, but it gets hard to take Stolt's vocals over the 70 minute length. In summary, it's not a bad album for someone who hasn't been too active in symphonic rock for quite some time and I'd say recommended to those who like more accessible progressive stylings.
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more