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The Flower King

music reviewmusic reviewmusic reviewmusic review  out of 4 Music Review: The Flower King

Artist: Roine Stolt
Genre: Rock
Release Date: May 2001

Review by Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
4 stars out of 4

You may know Roine Stolt as the leader and guitar player of "The Flower Kings," even though he has a rich and storied past in music since the 70's. You may be unaware that he filled important roles with other groups such as "Kaipa" and "Fantasia." Stolt is another one of those legendary guitar maestros that started off playing the bass, which seems to be more common than not in the development of any artist that plays the six-string. His second solo album "The Flower King" was released in 1994 and was subsequently reissued on Inside Out America in 2001.

Stand out solo albums such as this will separate an artist from all of his contemporaries. Stolt is not only the consummate professional and leader of one of the most successful prog-rock bands in the world; he has the talent and vision to create music that is able to stand on its own merit without any reflection on previous collaborations or projects. That in and of itself is the most difficult thing to overcome when an individual has a vast repertoire to look back upon over a long period of time such as Stolt does. The format he follows with the albums sequence is classic prog-rock. He uses an intelligent combination of instrumentals and vocal tracks along with the expected multi-tiered prog-rock magnum opus as the meat of the recording. "Humanizzimo" runs over twenty minutes and breaks down into six parts. With help from his band mates from TFK he creates a steadfast and unyielding project from start to finish. Instrumental tracks such as "The Sounds of Violence" spotlight Stolt's innate ability to squeeze every ounce of resonance and beauty out of his guitar without uttering a word. Talented players like this man eliminate the need for vocals (even though he has a good voice). The beauty of his craft becomes personified in a note for note interpretation of feelings and a well spring of spontaneous emotions. He not only transcends all preconceived ideas of what the ideal guitar player and musician can be, he defines it.

Its time for the world to take it upon themselves to delve into the history and back catalog of music that Roine Stolt has given us to enjoy, only then will we completely understand his importance and the critical contributions that he has made in regards to the development of a continually evolving and blossoming musical genre. Sitting in the fan's seat for a moment as an enthused listener…I would like to see him come up with the unexpected the next time he records a solo album. Something like a completely instrumental acoustic recording to show his diversity and ability to cross over to another style seamlessly would be appropriate, and a welcome change. I have no doubt that he can do anything he decides to do and the fan base of TFK will continue to grow and flourish because of his open ended approach to music.

1. The Flower King (Stolt) - 10:32
2. Dissonata (Stolt) - 10:02
3. The Magic Circus of Zeb (Stolt) - 7:06
4. Close Your Eyes (Stolt) - 3:12
5. The Pilgrims Inn (Stolt) - 9:20
6. The Sounds of Violence (Stolt) - 5:41
7. Humanizzimo (Stolt) - 20:53
 *nbsp;A. Twilight Flower
 *nbsp;B. The Messenger
 *nbsp;C. The Nail
 *nbsp;D. Only Human
 *nbsp;E. This Is The Night
 *nbsp;F. The Flower Of Love
8. Scanning the Greenhouse (Stolt) - 3:45

Credits: Hans Bruniusson - Percussion, Drums
Ulf Artan Wallander - Sax (Soprano)
Roine Stolt - Guitar (Acoustic), Bass, Percussion, Guitar (Electric), Keyboards, Vocals, Producer, Liner Notes, Orchestration, Cover Art, Guitar (12 String Electric), Guitar (12 String Acoustic)
Bjorn Engelman - Mastering
Dexter Frank Jr. - Engineer
Jamie Salazar-drums
Hasse Froberg-lead vocal tracks 1 & 8



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