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Paradox Hotel (2CD)


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Audio CD, April 4, 2006
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Paradox Hotel (2CD) + Stardust We Are (2CD) + Unfold The Future (2CD)
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 4, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: 2006
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Inside Out U.S.
  • ASIN: B000ELL7JS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #202,158 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Check In
2. Monsters & Men
3. Jealousy
4. Hit Me With A Hit
5. Pioneers Of Aviation
6. Lucy Had A Dream
7. Bavarian Skies
8. Selfconsuming Fire
9. Mommy Leave The Light On
10. End On A High Note
Disc: 2
1. Minor Giant Steps
2. Touch My Heaven
3. The Unorthodox Dancinglesson
4. Man Of The World
5. Life Will Kill You
6. The Way The Waters Are Moving
7. What If God Is Alone
8. Paradox Hotel
9. Blue Planet

Editorial Reviews

Roine Stolt and his Flower Kings have produced another 2CD set packed with prog! "This album is not as focused on detail, it has raw edges and isn't based so much on complex themes as is usually the case" says Stolt. "We painted with a thicker brush, so to speak. However, the melody side is still very strong and the whole thing sounds much more dynamic than we have been in the past". Keyboardist Tomas Bodin and bassist Jonas Reingold were more involved in the songwriting process than in the past and Hasse Froberg has composed a song. Thematically, the record deals with the curiosity of existence and the "Paradox Hotel" is a reference to people's life on Earth. "We are only guests here; we can't take much with us. We check in, we use the hotel bar, pay the bill - you get nothing for free - and then leave again sometime", Stolt explains the concept. "We live for a while, without having any real idea of our purpose".

Customer Reviews

This is even more amazing considering the constant member changes that occur with each new album.
saserfrac
Once you think you have an idea of what they are about, they come out with an album like this one that is very different from the rest of them.
D. Paper
The music is melodic, challenging, interesting and leaves plenty of space for melodies and themes to develop.
Lars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Squire Jaco on April 10, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Well, the Flower Kings have been my favorite band for about 7 years now, yet I've never felt that they produced a solid 5-star cd before this one. Over the years, they've successfully integrated 70's-style prog along with the occasional jazz fusion sequence, original and interesting compositions and arrangements, catchy refrains - and it's all been done with some of the best musicians in all of rock. "Paradox Hotel" showcases their talents like no other recording before it....and it undoubtedly deserves 5 stars!

This is perhaps their most Yessy-sounding cd; and with harmonies and lyrics that frequently intone "heaven", "God" and even the word "roundabout", the Yes comparisons are pretty hard to ignore. (See "Hit Me With a Hit", "Minor Giant Steps", "Man of the World", and the last 3 minutes of "End on a High Note" in particular.) Not as much of the ELP or Crimson sound this time around. In fact, if anything there's a little more "pop" bent to this cd....but don't read that as "commercial". I mean, this IS the Flower Kings, so you still get a good dose of odd meters, polyphony, complex arrangements and clever ideas.

This is just a very even album for them, with more songs in the shorter range (that is, 5 or 6 minutes!), and they just flow together and transition effortlessly. The introspective and compassionate lyrics continue to augment the great melodies. Every song is unique and well-crafted. I echo everyone else: "How do they do it year after year?"

Perhaps what struck me most on this cd is how much they sound like a BAND - not just a bunch of virtuosos from Sweden pieced together to play Stolt's music. And virtuosos they are!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Jason Bachand on April 6, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Ten years into their recording career and nine albums down, the Flower Kings show no signs of getting stale. "Paradox Hotel" is a concept album detailing the motley occupants of a crowded hotel, a metaphor for the diversity of humankind, our potential for great good and great evil.

Songwriter/guitarist Roine Stolt has tweaked with the usual Flower Kings formula a little bit here, but never fear - the results are fantastic. The epic length compositions take the back burner in favor or shorter, riff driven songs, each describing a character in the hotel. Yet none of the complex melodies or beats are sacrificed, and good musicianship is still center stage. New drummer Marcus Lilquist performs admirably in the rhythm section, and the rest of the band turns in A+ performances.

"Paradox Hotel" has a slightly more melancholy feel to it than previous Flower Kings efforts, especially on tracks like "Bavarian Skies" or "Lucy Had a Dream." Nevertheless, the introspective lyrics don't fall into pretentiousness as concept albums often do. Fans of the band will be pleased while newcomers - and this reviewer hopes there will be many - will get a good introduction to this vastly underecognized band.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lars on April 5, 2006
Format: Audio CD
After having seen the Flower Kings twice within the past year, I was eagerly awaiting the new album Paradox Hotel. In my opinion, this album is as good as anything they've ever done. The music is melodic, challenging, interesting and leaves plenty of space for melodies and themes to develop. Sometimes I think that a good number of very proficient bands forget that if there is to be light, there has to be dark. If there is turmoil, there must be serenity. If there is to be a display of blistering chops, there must be space to offset them. The Flower Kings figured this out long ago. This album is as good as it gets in the symphonic progressive vein. It is true craft. I'm not sure, but it seems to me to be a good point of reference for someone exploring the Flower Kings for the first time.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By x_bruce on April 10, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am pleased, no...really pleased to hear this enjoyable album by the most prolific musicians to be found, our beloved Flower Kings.

Many reviews mention a step back to their older sound, which to some degree is true, that is if you consider songs like "The Unorthodox Dancing Lesson" to be an older style. It's a nice change of pace with a strong Zappaesque sense of humor, not to mention the tasty percussives such as marimba and the theft of a considerable amount of 1990 - NOW era King Crimson guitar riffing and, more importantly, harmonic transpositions. How do I know? I steal them all the time on my own little ditties. But hey, who cares? This is fun stuff with more than a little charm that was missing from the more serious Adam & Eve and Unfold the Future, both monster albums (do TFK know what a 40 minute release is? I think not, unless it's a song)

So what do we get here that is so different? Well, first off, Zoltan has gone which, while a shame; he was an amazing drummer, but is replaced with an equally excellent drummer, Marcus Liliequist, who seems to fit with TFK program a bit better.

Also gone are Daniel Gildenlow, at least on this set of CDs. Added are exceptional vocals with a bluesy grit on Hans Froberg's part. Man, this guy has really stepped up the quality of vocals starting with "The Rainmaker" album! "Life Will Kill You" has him rocking out as hard as I can remember, and it is evident throughout both Paradox Hotel CDs. While not as immediately noticible in the mix, and often the sign of the instrument doing it's job right is Hasse Bruniusson whipping up an arsenal of percussion and whatnots that contribute mightily to Paradox Hotel.

Meanwhile, Ronine Stolt is having a very interesting mid-life crisis.
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