Roine Stolt — The Flower King
(Inside Out Music IOMACD 40913, 1994/2001, CD)
by Mike McLatchey, Published 1995-03-01
It's 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.
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more