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The Flower Kings: Look At You Now
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The Flower Kings: Look At You Now

Melodic Progressive Rock
4.5/5.0

On the cusp of celebrating 30 years in the music business next year, Swedish prog outfit The Flower Kings return with their sixteenth studio album, Look At You Now. Founded by guitarist, vocalist, and principal songwriter Roine Stolt in 1994, The Flower Kings have been a seminal and ongoing promoter of classic melodic progressive rock. Their catalog of work continues to influence and inspire other acts, while also entertaining their fans.

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The Flower Kings

Look At You Now is no exception. This is elemental Flower Kings. Expert and spry musicianship and deft song craftsmanship excel across this long player (near 67 minutes), wherein fundamental classic rock intersects with lavish and lightly technical arrangements. Stolt's guitar work takes a long and large part of the album, but not at the expense of his fellow musicians. Tag team, intertwining, duets with synths and guitar also abound. Yet every instrument gets their moment to stretch and shine. Also fundamental to any Flower Kings arrangement is melodic and harmonious vocal arrangements; again, this is abundant throughout.


With Look At You Now you'll find 13 songs which, surprisingly (or perhaps not), are in the range of three to five minutes. But, of course, Stolt and company can pack a lot of prog wonkery in a small package. Notable favorites include Stronghold, a steady building anthem with an impressive lengthy guitar solo; the short Day For Peace which moves largely upon the vocal arrangement; Father Sky has only two lines of verse but has a pop rock free-form groove; and Beginners Eyes, a prog exercise wrapped in AOR accessibility.


At nearly 12 minutes, the major opus is the closing title track. This song is vintage Flower Kings being symphonic with twisting movements, synth solos and guitar solos, and those smooth choral-like vocals. There are two instrumentals also: Dr. Ribedeaux and The Queen, both giving all the players room to display their musical strength.

All said, The Flower Kings' Look At You Now is another well-crafted and entertaining album of their signature and classic melodic progressive rock, packed with skilled musicianship and elaborate song arrangements. It will take several attentive spins to digest. Quite recommended.


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The Take Away

The Flower Kings' Look At You Now is another well-crafted and entertaining album of their signature and classic melodic progressive rock, packed with skilled musicianship and elaborate song arrangements. Quite recommended.

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