Exposé Online banner

Flower Kings — Paradox Hotel
(Inside Out Music IOMCD-241, 2006, 2CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2007-03-01

Paradox Hotel Cover art

The good news is that Paradox Hotel includes a kick-ass prog rock instrumental, “Pioneers of Aviation,” that’s about one of the best things The Flower Kings have ever done. The bad news is that it you have to wait 30 minutes into disk one to reach it. To be fair, Paradox Hotel includes some really nice material, notably several Tomas Bodin pieces (including a Fellini-esque trip inside Hitler’s head called “Bavarian Skies”) and a Hasse Forberg rocker called “Life Will Kill You” that is more than a little like Kings X. And I would be remiss not to mention “The Unorthodox Dancing Lesson” that sounds like a collision between National Health’s “The Collapso” and King Crimson’s “VROOOM.” The many highlights have to compete with what at times seems like aimless noodling and wandering about, plus the most subdued batch of songs from Roine Stolt that I can recall, even on past 2CD marathons. As the band is quick to point out, the writing chores are spread around a bit more on this one, though to toss off comparisons with The Beatles (The White Album) is reaching, especially when Stolt is the sole writer on well more than half the songs and a co-writer on several others. The lineup has been tweaked recently with the addition of new drummer Marcus Liliequist and the departure of Daniel Gildenlöw, though the band are playing and singing as well as ever. Paradox Hotel as a metaphor for life on Earth is clever, though the concept — like most of this collection — works some times better than others. I’ve suggested on past mammoth TFK albums that a little judicious song editing would make for a stronger, more cohesive collection, and the same holds true here. But Stolt and crew seem bent on following the “More is better” maxim, and I’ll just say that “Some is great, some ain’t.”


Filed under: New releases, Issue 34, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): Tomas Bodin, The Flower Kings, Roine Stolt, Hasse Bruniusson

Latest news

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Progres 2 - Tretí Kniha Džunglí - Third Jungle Book – This was originally a double album released in 1981, and on CD it clocks in at a few seconds shy of 80 minutes! From Czechoslovakia, Progres 2 is at times symphonic, at times more electronic, at...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues