Jon Anderson of Yes and Roine Stolt of The Flower Kings, making an album together? Why not? I always had the feeling The Flower Kings are heavily influenced by (early) Yes. The two blokes surrounded themselves with guest musicians like Tom Brislin, Daniel Gildenl÷w and Nad Sylvan, and (ex) members of The Flower Kings for this album.
Let's get straight to the point. This sounds more like Yes than ever! But without the flashy bits and pieces (more about that later on in this article). I secretly hoped for something completely different, but why should I ever expect that? Silly me! Jon has a good voice on this album in my opinion. I heard from several people that his voice isn't what it used to be, but according to me he does a great job. You can hear that Roine Stolt is influenced a lot by Steve Howe's guitar playing style, but if you're an avid fan of The Flower Kings you probably already heard it on their albums. While most of the songs carry (or dragging, what you prefer) the Yes vibe with music scores of Flower Kings, the track Everybody Heals reminds me largely of early era Flower Kings.
The complete album just 'ripples' along the stream, if you know what I mean. No spectacular turns and twists or surprising elements, while that is something you would assume with Yes. Consider this as a Yes-light. The album is more than one hour long, a bit on the long side for me to keep my full attention. If you're a big fan of Yes and/or The Flower Kings, then this album is a must have for your collection. If you don't like Yes and/ or The Flower Kings, then this is something you probably would appreciate when someone plays it during a visit, but not something you would buy yourself. I have to admit that I probably appreciate it more when I give it more spins in the future. This is certainly a 'grower', and presumably not only for me. Before you guys think I'm probably writing this from an 'anti-fan' view... I am actually a fan of Yes and I can really appreciate The Flower Kings!
Note: As you may have noticed I only mentioned one track of the complete album. This is clearly an album you should 'experience' in its entirety instead of track for track. The album consists of four long tracks, each divided into several parts.
**** Iris Hidding (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
Where to buy?
All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2016