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For long time FK fans, "Rainmaker" will take some time to get used to (much like their previous outing "Space Revolver"). However, once it gets a hold on you, it simply does not let go. The opening track "Last Minute on Earth" features Hasse Froeberg's powerful and inhuman singing, along with some killer keyboard chops from Tomas. Throughout the rest of the CD, The Flower Kings hop around from standard prog (Road to Sanctuary) to R&B (Serious Dreamers) to heavy metal (Sword of God) to classical (The Rainmaker) - and they mix and match these style seamlessly.
While all the musicians are of course phenomenal (especially bassist Jonas - to see him live is nothing short of incredible), special mention must be made of drummer Jaime Salazar, who makes his final appearance as a Flower King on this CD. His drumming is wonderful throughout the album, and he will definitely be missed.
This one is simple - if you love good music with musician that can play the hell out of their instruments, but still focus on songwriting and melody, then you should buy this CD. And, if you're one of those who thinks the music world starts and ends with MTV, come check out what people with actual talent can do when they set their minds to it.
I have already reviewed the regular version of this album elsewhere, so I'll restrict myself to the additional tracks:
* Excerpt From Valkyrian (3:14): As the title suggests, this is a popular theme written by Richard Wagner, arranged for keyboards by Tomas Bodin.
* Mr. Hope Goes To Salzburg (0:50): A charming neo-baroque keyboard solo by Tomas Bodin. What a pity that it's only 50 seconds!
* One Whole Half (5:16): A nice fusion track by Jonas Reingold with zappaesque traits and a very prominent slap bass line. (We already know that Jonas is a good composer from his earlier work with his metal bands "Midnight Sun" and "Reingold".)
* Agent Supreme (2:32): Huh? Mr. Stolt goes R&B? Well, this track is far off the usual Flower Kings style. My least favorite on this bonus disc...
* Violent Brat (4:31): Tomas Bodin to the max. This is my favorite, and constitutes new evidence that Tomas is no less a genius than Roine Stolt. A short piece of Hammond-oriented music in Emersonian tradition.
* The Woman With No Shadow (2:18): One of the rare cases where Mr. Bodin adds lyrics to his music. A nice and calm folk tune with swedish (!) lyrics (I suppose).
Bottom line: Even if you already own the regular version of "The Rainmaker" (which is one of Roine Stolt's best so far), I highly recommend to buy this special edition as well - the bonus tracks justify this additional expense.
It is really and impeccable work of art.
I was lucky enough to see Roine and the boys live in Cambridge a few days before this CD was released, and they exceeded all of my expectations. What an awesome show!
Michael Stolt and Jaime Salazar have departed but yet the Kings have gotten even better! Tomas (Keyboards)is perfect for this band, Hasse (Vocals, Guitar) is absolutely amazing! Jonas (Bass) is one of the best and most melodic Bass players I've ever seen, and Zoltan (Drums) is not only a great guy to talk to, but one hell of a accomplished Prog Drummer!
This Band Rules! The RainMaker is a must for any progressive music collection. Thank God for the Flower Kings!!!
Instrumental side: 5
Vocal Side: 3 1/2 (It's still better than 100% of the MTV bands.)
Lyrical Side: 2 (This album's lyrics are really lacking.)
Overall: 3.75 Good but far from the best TFK release. I realize they were trying to go for a darker feel... but I think they need to do a little more experimentation to get the "feel" right. If you want Awesome Dark prog check out Ayreon's "the Dream Sequencer." That is one of the few albums I can listen to start to finish without skipping any track. And for TFK fans, I would get "Space Revolver" instead which is BY FAR the best TFK release.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Little disappointed. Not enough great drumming moments. Sounds similar to karmakanic's who's the boss in the factory, but more rough. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Kevin Finn
I got this album cause I liked the group there music is great I will always get there music great groupPublished 19 months ago by Mark W. Seward
I like the music on this CD, and I feel that the songs are pretty good. It is a bit different than previous TFK albums, however I still find this piece of work more enjoyable and... Read morePublished 21 months ago by RD
I'm Young Jun Kim from South KOREA.
Thank you very much your Music CD.
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This is a great CD except for the 6 minutes that "The Sword of God" lasts. This is just not a very good song in fact it it a very bad one. Read morePublished on April 19, 2012 by Hornell Fred
One of modern progressive rock's more consistent groups, TFK's are able to achieve passing grades even on their lesser albums simply from an admirable desire to flesh out material-... Read morePublished on February 16, 2010 by IRate
When this album came out in 2001, I marveled at the fact that the group was still grinding away at the same neo-prog style. Read morePublished on February 1, 2010 by Jeffrey J.Park
I've seen this album take a lot of heat from Flower Kings fans over the years. It is generally rated as one of their lesser albums by a lot of people, but I have always thought it... Read morePublished on March 11, 2007 by Steven Sly
Another good work from the Flower Kings, no masterpieces here but very good album. My only complaint is for track number six "Elaine" is by far the worst song ever wrote by Mr. Read morePublished on January 29, 2007 by Guy Campeau