The Flower Kings: Roine Stolt (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Ulf Wallander (soprano saxophone); Tomas Bodin (piano, Hammond C-3 organ, Mellotron, synthesizer, sound effects); Michael Stolt (bass); Jaime Salazar, Hassa Bruniusson (drums, percussion); Hans Froberg (background vocals).
Recorded between December 1995 & March 1996.
Retropolis is the album that brought the Flower Kings from an interesting underground progressive rock band to an act that simply couldn't be ignored by anyone interested in the genre's 1990s revival. Roine Stolt and consorts' aim for Retropolis was to dive a little more into vintage progressive forms (retro) and, indeed, this album is the most nostalgic and closer-to-the-roots-sounding of the band's catalog. From the Pink Floyd-shaped "Rhythm of the Sea" to the poignant Yes-like hymn "There Is More to This World," the Flower Kings sound like they are paying tribute to the groups that brought them to do what they are doing, without ever falling into plagiarism or sacrificing the band's own identity. "Melting Pot," "The Judas Kiss," and the powerful instrumental "Retropolis" are the album's other highlights. Very strong composition-wise, Retropolis lacked some cohesion. It is one of the band's most song-oriented albums (with The Flower King). In comparison, the following effort Stardust We Are will have a stronger identity but at times weaker material. ~ François Couture