Desolation Rose

The Flower Kings

Inside Out, 2013

http://www.flowerkings.se

REVIEW BY: Bruce Rusk

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 02/22/2015

In the world of modern progressive rock, The Flower Kings has established a comfortable niche, located somewhere between the stately majesty of Yes and the soft, white underbelly of Genesis. Without shame or hubris, these guys have devoted a career to building on the legacy of the classic ‘70s prog bands. Masterfully talented and with a meticulous eye for sonic quality, The Flower Kings create albums that are an audiophile's delight.

I have come to think of the FK albums like I do John Hughes films. The players and the play might change for each title, but from one work to the next, the themes, flavor and color of the story will be very familiar. This album, sadly, was a bit too familiar sounding. More specifically, there was just a little too much of the same.

Desolation Rose is a finely crafted, beautifully recorded double album that seems to be lacking anything special when compared to the rest of the Flower Kings’ body of work. On one hand, the continuity of quality I have come to rely on with these guys is reassuring. On the other hand, I want to get shaken up a little bit. I found myself missing the left-field eclecticism of their 2000 release Space Revolver with its crisp doses of funk and metal thrown into the mix. There is a homogenous quality to these tracks that didn’t leave me humming a refrain or going to the rewind button to listen to a particularly compelling passage. There seem to be no new surprises in this finely built but ultimately unexciting collection of songs. Solos and instrumental passages seem to fizzle along without ever sparking a fire.

A new listener might very well embrace this fine album, but for this longtime fan, I needed a little more creativity and experimentation to lift it above the ordinary.

Rating: C

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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